February 2, 2023

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. Importantly, ADDvise Group AB (publ) (STO:ADDV A) does carry 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. 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. 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.
View our latest analysis for ADDvise Group
As you can see below, at the end of June 2022, ADDvise Group had kr503.5m of debt, up from kr284.8m a year ago. Click the image for more detail. On the flip side, it has kr105.0m in cash leading to net debt of about kr398.5m.
Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that ADDvise Group had liabilities of kr271.4m due within 12 months and liabilities of kr775.5m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of kr105.0m as well as receivables valued at kr215.7m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by kr726.2m.
This is a mountain of leverage relative to its market capitalization of kr908.1m. This suggests shareholders would be heavily diluted if the company needed to shore up its balance sheet in a hurry.
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.
ADDvise Group's debt is 4.4 times its EBITDA, and its EBIT cover its interest expense 3.6 times over. This suggests that while the debt levels are significant, we'd stop short of calling them problematic. The silver lining is that ADDvise Group grew its EBIT by 112% last year, which nourishing like the idealism of youth. If that earnings trend continues it will make its debt load much more manageable in the future. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if ADDvise Group can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.
Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. During the last three years, ADDvise Group burned a lot of cash. While that may be a result of expenditure for growth, it does make the debt far more risky.
Mulling over ADDvise Group's attempt at converting EBIT to free cash flow, we're certainly not enthusiastic. But on the bright side, its EBIT growth rate is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. We should also note that Medical Equipment industry companies like ADDvise Group commonly do use debt without problems. Looking at the balance sheet and taking into account all these factors, we do believe that debt is making ADDvise Group stock a bit risky. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we'd generally feel more comfortable with less leverage. 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. We've identified 4 warning signs with ADDvise Group (at least 2 which make us uncomfortable) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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.
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 ADDvise Group 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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ADDvise Group AB (publ) supplies equipment to healthcare and research facilities in private and public sectors in Sweden, rest of Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia.
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.
Acceptable track record with moderate growth potential.
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.
ADDvise Group AB (publ) supplies equipment to healthcare and research facilities in private and public sectors in Sweden, rest of Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia.
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.
Acceptable track record with moderate growth potential.
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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