October 7, 2022

Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, '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 Broadwind, Inc. (NASDAQ:BWEN) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?
Debt is a tool to help businesses grow, but if a business is incapable of paying off its lenders, then it exists at their mercy. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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, 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 Broadwind
The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at June 2022 Broadwind had debt of US$17.9m, up from US$6.71m in one year. And it doesn't have much cash, so its net debt is about the same.
We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Broadwind had liabilities of US$55.9m falling due within a year, and liabilities of US$21.3m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of US$49.0k and US$24.5m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities total US$52.7m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.
This is a mountain of leverage relative to its market capitalization of US$72.7m. This suggests shareholders would be heavily diluted if the company needed to shore up its balance sheet in a hurry. 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 Broadwind can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
Over 12 months, Broadwind made a loss at the EBIT level, and saw its revenue drop to US$158m, which is a fall of 9.1%. We would much prefer see growth.
Over the last twelve months Broadwind produced an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss. Its EBIT loss was a whopping US$10.0m. 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. However, it doesn't help that it burned through US$14m of cash over the last year. So in short it's a really risky stock. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. These risks can be hard to spot. Every company has them, and we've spotted 5 warning signs for Broadwind (of which 1 can't be ignored!) 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.
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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 Broadwind 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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Broadwind, Inc. manufactures and sells structures, equipment, and components for clean tech and other specialized applications primarily in the United States.
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.
Good value 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.
Broadwind, Inc. manufactures and sells structures, equipment, and components for clean tech and other specialized applications primarily in the United States.
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.
Good value with mediocre balance sheet.
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