Stock Analysis

We Think Rogers (NYSE:ROG) Can Manage Its Debt With Ease

NYSE:ROG
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Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' It's only natural to consider a company's balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. We note that Rogers Corporation (NYSE:ROG) does have debt on its balance sheet. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt A Problem?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for Rogers

What Is Rogers's Net Debt?

As you can see below, Rogers had US$4.00m of debt at March 2021, down from US$275.9m a year prior. But on the other hand it also has US$199.1m in cash, leading to a US$195.1m net cash position.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NYSE:ROG Debt to Equity History July 27th 2021

How Strong Is Rogers' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Rogers had liabilities of US$129.6m due within 12 months, and liabilities of US$111.8m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of US$199.1m and US$175.0m worth of receivables due within a year. So it can boast US$132.7m more liquid assets than total liabilities.

This short term liquidity is a sign that Rogers could probably pay off its debt with ease, as its balance sheet is far from stretched. Simply put, the fact that Rogers has more cash than debt is arguably a good indication that it can manage its debt safely.

In addition to that, we're happy to report that Rogers has boosted its EBIT by 39%, thus reducing the spectre of future debt repayments. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Rogers's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

Finally, while the tax-man may adore accounting profits, lenders only accept cold hard cash. Rogers may have net cash on the balance sheet, but it is still interesting to look at how well the business converts its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to free cash flow, because that will influence both its need for, and its capacity to manage debt. Over the most recent three years, Rogers recorded free cash flow worth 69% of its EBIT, which is around normal, given free cash flow excludes interest and tax. This free cash flow puts the company in a good position to pay down debt, when appropriate.

Summing up

While we empathize with investors who find debt concerning, you should keep in mind that Rogers has net cash of US$195.1m, as well as more liquid assets than liabilities. And we liked the look of last year's 39% year-on-year EBIT growth. So is Rogers's debt a risk? It doesn't seem so to us. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. Be aware that Rogers is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , 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.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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