Does Alteryx (NYSE:AYX) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 03, 2021
NYSE:AYX
Source: Shutterstock

The external fund manager backed by Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger, Li Lu, makes no bones about it when he says 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' When we think about how risky a company is, we always like to look at its use of debt, since debt overload can lead to ruin. We note that Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE:AYX) does have debt on its balance sheet. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt Dangerous?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. However, a more usual (but still expensive) situation is where a company must dilute shareholders at a cheap share price simply to get debt under control. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

See our latest analysis for Alteryx

What Is Alteryx's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at September 2021 Alteryx had debt of US$754.9m, up from US$722.0m in one year. However, it does have US$596.4m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about US$158.4m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NYSE:AYX Debt to Equity History December 4th 2021

How Strong Is Alteryx's Balance Sheet?

The latest balance sheet data shows that Alteryx had liabilities of US$289.5m due within a year, and liabilities of US$775.0m falling due after that. On the other hand, it had cash of US$596.4m and US$120.6m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by US$347.4m.

Since publicly traded Alteryx shares are worth a total of US$4.21b, it seems unlikely that this level of liabilities would be a major threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Alteryx can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

Over 12 months, Alteryx reported revenue of US$523m, which is a gain of 6.4%, although it did not report any earnings before interest and tax. That rate of growth is a bit slow for our taste, but it takes all types to make a world.

Caveat Emptor

Importantly, Alteryx had an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss over the last year. To be specific the EBIT loss came in at US$85m. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above does not give us much confidence that company should be using so much debt. Quite frankly we think the balance sheet is far from match-fit, although it could be improved with time. For example, we would not want to see a repeat of last year's loss of US$120m. So we do think this stock is quite risky. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. These risks can be hard to spot. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Alteryx you should know about.

At the end of the day, it's often better to focus on companies that are free from net debt. You can access our special list of such companies (all with a track record of profit growth). It's free.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.