September 24, 2022

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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. We can see that AddLife AB (publ) (STO:ALIF B) does use debt in its business. 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. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. 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, the upside of debt is that it often represents cheap capital, especially when it replaces dilution in a company with the ability to reinvest at high rates of return. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.
See our latest analysis for AddLife
As you can see below, at the end of June 2022, AddLife had kr5.35b of debt, up from kr3.78b a year ago. Click the image for more detail. However, it does have kr351.0m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about kr4.99b.
We can see from the most recent balance sheet that AddLife had liabilities of kr6.63b falling due within a year, and liabilities of kr1.52b due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had kr351.0m in cash and kr1.51b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities total kr6.30b more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.
While this might seem like a lot, it is not so bad since AddLife has a market capitalization of kr14.3b, 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.
We measure a company's debt load relative to its earnings power by looking at its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and by calculating how easily its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) cover its interest expense (interest cover). The advantage of this approach is that we take into account both the absolute quantum of debt (with net debt to EBITDA) and the actual interest expenses associated with that debt (with its interest cover ratio).
AddLife has a debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.4, which signals significant debt, but is still pretty reasonable for most types of business. However, its interest coverage of 12.7 is very high, suggesting that the interest expense on the debt is currently quite low. Notably AddLife's EBIT was pretty flat over the last year. Ideally it can diminish its debt load by kick-starting earnings growth. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if AddLife 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 business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. Happily for any shareholders, AddLife actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last three years. That sort of strong cash generation warms our hearts like a puppy in a bumblebee suit.
The good news is that AddLife's demonstrated ability to cover its interest expense with its EBIT delights us like a fluffy puppy does a toddler. But, on a more sombre note, we are a little concerned by its net debt to EBITDA. Looking at all the aforementioned factors together, it strikes us that AddLife can handle its debt fairly comfortably. Of course, while this leverage can enhance returns on equity, it does bring more risk, so it's worth keeping an eye on this one. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with AddLife (including 1 which shouldn't be ignored) .
If, after all that, you're more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.
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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 AddLife 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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AddLife AB (publ), together with its subsidiaries, provides equipment, medical devices, and reagents primarily to healthcare system, research, colleges, and universities, as well as the food and pharmaceutical industries.
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.
Undervalued with mediocre balance sheet.
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.
AddLife AB (publ), together with its subsidiaries, provides equipment, medical devices, and reagents primarily to healthcare system, research, colleges, and universities, as well as the food and pharmaceutical industries.
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.
Undervalued with mediocre balance sheet.
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