Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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. Importantly, Bauba Resources Limited (JSE:BAU) does carry debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?
Why Does Debt Bring Risk?
Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. However, a more common (but still painful) scenario is that it has to raise new equity capital at a low price, thus permanently diluting shareholders. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.
How Much Debt Does Bauba Resources Carry?
As you can see below, Bauba Resources had R74.3m of debt at June 2021, down from R80.8m a year prior. However, it does have R4.81m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about R69.4m.
A Look At Bauba Resources' Liabilities
According to the last reported balance sheet, Bauba Resources had liabilities of R136.6m due within 12 months, and liabilities of R74.4m due beyond 12 months. Offsetting this, it had R4.81m in cash and R26.8m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling R179.4m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.
This is a mountain of leverage relative to its market capitalization of R275.4m. Should its lenders demand that it shore up the balance sheet, shareholders would likely face severe dilution. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is Bauba Resources's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.
Over 12 months, Bauba Resources reported revenue of R277m, 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.
Importantly, Bauba Resources had an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss over the last year. Indeed, it lost a very considerable R34m at the EBIT level. 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. Another cause for caution is that is bled R112m in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So in short it's a really risky stock. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For example Bauba Resources has 3 warning signs (and 2 which are significant) we think you should know about.
Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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