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Yadea Group Holdings (HKG:1585) Could Easily Take On More Debt

Simply Wall St ·  {{timeTz}}

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. We note that Yadea Group Holdings Ltd. (HKG:1585) does have debt on its balance sheet . But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt A Problem?

Debt and other liabilities become risky for a business when it cannot easily fulfill those obligations, either with free cash flow or by raising capital at an attractive price. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. However, a more usual (but still expensive) situation is where a company must dilute shareholders at a cheap share price simply to get debt under control. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Yadea Group Holdings

How Much Debt Does Yadea Group Holdings Carry?

As you can see below, at the end of June 2022, Yadea Group Holdings had CN¥2.14b of debt, up from CN¥253.8m a year ago. Click the image for more detail. However, its balance sheet shows it holds CN¥10.5b in cash, so it actually has CN¥8.36b net cash.

debt-equity-history-analysisSEHK:1585 Debt to Equity History September 18th 2022

A Look At Yadea Group Holdings' Liabilities

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Yadea Group Holdings had liabilities of CN¥16.1b due within 12 months and liabilities of CN¥622.8m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of CN¥10.5b as well as receivables valued at CN¥443.8m due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling CN¥5.81b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Given Yadea Group Holdings has a market capitalization of CN¥37.1b, it's hard to believe these liabilities pose much threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time. While it does have liabilities worth noting, Yadea Group Holdings also has more cash than debt, so we're pretty confident it can manage its debt safely.

On top of that, Yadea Group Holdings grew its EBIT by 43% over the last twelve months, and that growth will make it easier to handle its 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 Yadea Group Holdings'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. Yadea Group Holdings 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. Happily for any shareholders, Yadea Group Holdings 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.

Summing Up

While Yadea Group Holdings does have more liabilities than liquid assets , it also has net cash of CN¥8.36b. And it impressed us with free cash flow of CN¥641m, being 174% of its EBIT. So is Yadea Group Holdings's debt a risk? It doesn't seem so to us. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. These risks can be hard to spot. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Yadea Group Holdings 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.

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.

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