September 27, 2022

David Iben put it well when he said, 'Volatility is not a risk we care about. What we care about is avoiding the permanent loss of capital.' So it seems the smart money knows that debt – which is usually involved in bankruptcies – is a very important factor, when you assess how risky a company is. As with many other companies Björn Borg AB (publ) (STO:BORG) makes use of debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?
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. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. 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. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.
Check out our latest analysis for Björn Borg
The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Björn Borg had debt of kr18.8m at the end of June 2022, a reduction from kr99.0m over a year. However, because it has a cash reserve of kr14.4m, its net debt is less, at about kr4.43m.
The latest balance sheet data shows that Björn Borg had liabilities of kr229.0m due within a year, and liabilities of kr76.1m falling due after that. On the other hand, it had cash of kr14.4m and kr112.5m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling kr178.3m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.
While this might seem like a lot, it is not so bad since Björn Borg has a market capitalization of kr589.7m, and so it could probably strengthen its balance sheet by raising capital if it needed to. But it's clear that we should definitely closely examine whether it can manage its debt without dilution. But either way, Björn Borg has virtually no net debt, so it's fair to say it does not have a heavy debt load!
In order to size up a company's debt relative to its earnings, we calculate its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) divided by its interest expense (its interest cover). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.
Björn Borg has very modest net debt, giving rise to a debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.058. And this impression is enhanced by its strong EBIT which covers interest costs 8.6 times. Also positive, Björn Borg grew its EBIT by 26% in the last year, and that should make it easier to pay down debt, going forward. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Björn Borg'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, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. Over the last two years, Björn Borg actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. That sort of strong cash generation warms our hearts like a puppy in a bumblebee suit.
The good news is that Björn Borg's demonstrated ability to convert EBIT to free cash flow delights us like a fluffy puppy does a toddler. And that's just the beginning of the good news since its net debt to EBITDA is also very heartening. Looking at the bigger picture, we think Björn Borg's use of debt seems quite reasonable and we're not concerned about it. While debt does bring risk, when used wisely it can also bring a higher return on equity. 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. We've identified 2 warning signs with Björn Borg , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
When all is said and done, sometimes its easier to focus on companies that don't even need debt. Readers can access a list of growth stocks with zero net debt 100% free, right now.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.
Find out whether Björn Borg is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.
Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
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Björn Borg AB (publ), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, production, wholesale, and retail of underwear, sports apparel, footwear, bags, eyewear, and fragrances under the Björn Borg brand.
The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.
Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.
Flawless balance sheet and undervalued.
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.
Björn Borg AB (publ), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, production, wholesale, and retail of underwear, sports apparel, footwear, bags, eyewear, and fragrances under the Björn Borg brand.
The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.
Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.
Flawless balance sheet and undervalued.
Simply Wall Street Pty Ltd (ACN 600 056 611), is a Corporate Authorised Representative (Authorised Representative Number: 467183) of Sanlam Private Wealth Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 337927). Any advice contained in this website is general advice only and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should not rely on any advice and/or information contained in this website and before making any investment decision we recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your situation and seek appropriate financial, taxation and legal advice. Please read our Financial Services Guide before deciding whether to obtain financial services from us.

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