December 5, 2022

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.' 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 CULTI Milano S.p.A. (BIT:CULT) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?
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. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. However, a more frequent (but still costly) occurrence is where a company must issue shares at bargain-basement prices, permanently diluting shareholders, just to shore up its balance sheet. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well – and to its own advantage. When we think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.
Check out our latest analysis for CULTI Milano
You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of June 2022 CULTI Milano had €5.60m of debt, an increase on €4.22m, over one year. However, it does have €9.19m in cash offsetting this, leading to net cash of €3.59m.
The latest balance sheet data shows that CULTI Milano had liabilities of €7.76m due within a year, and liabilities of €5.53m falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of €9.19m as well as receivables valued at €4.85m due within 12 months. So it actually has €755.1k more liquid assets than total liabilities.
This state of affairs indicates that CULTI Milano's balance sheet looks quite solid, as its total liabilities are just about equal to its liquid assets. So while it's hard to imagine that the €41.2m company is struggling for cash, we still think it's worth monitoring its balance sheet. Simply put, the fact that CULTI Milano has more cash than debt is arguably a good indication that it can manage its debt safely.
Another good sign is that CULTI Milano has been able to increase its EBIT by 21% in twelve months, making it easier to pay down debt. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine CULTI Milano'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.
But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. CULTI Milano 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, CULTI Milano recorded free cash flow worth 72% of its EBIT, which is around normal, given free cash flow excludes interest and tax. This cold hard cash means it can reduce its debt when it wants to.
While we empathize with investors who find debt concerning, you should keep in mind that CULTI Milano has net cash of €3.59m, as well as more liquid assets than liabilities. And it impressed us with free cash flow of €1.8m, being 72% of its EBIT. So we don't think CULTI Milano's use of debt is risky. 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. Be aware that CULTI Milano is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about…
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.
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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 CULTI Milano 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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CULTI Milano S.p.A. produces and sells room perfumes in Italy.
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.
Excellent balance sheet with proven track record.
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.
CULTI Milano S.p.A. produces and sells room perfumes in Italy.
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.
Excellent balance sheet with proven track record.
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