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Health Check: How Prudently Does Tenable Holdings (NASDAQ:TENB) Use Debt?

Simply Wall St ·  09/27 00:45

Howard Marks put it nicely when he said that, rather than worrying about share price volatility, 'The possibility of permanent loss is the risk I worry about... and every practical investor I know worries about.' 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, Tenable Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:TENB) does carry debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

When Is Debt Dangerous?

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. 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. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Tenable Holdings

What Is Tenable Holdings's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at June 2022 Tenable Holdings had debt of US$366.0m, up from none in one year. However, it does have US$510.9m in cash offsetting this, leading to net cash of US$144.9m.

debt-equity-history-analysisNasdaqGS:TENB Debt to Equity History September 26th 2022

How Healthy Is Tenable Holdings' Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Tenable Holdings had liabilities of US$483.1m due within 12 months and liabilities of US$554.5m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of US$510.9m and US$109.4m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by US$417.3m.

Given Tenable Holdings has a market capitalization of US$3.87b, it's hard to believe these liabilities pose much threat. Having said that, it's clear that we should continue to monitor its balance sheet, lest it change for the worse. While it does have liabilities worth noting, Tenable Holdings also has more cash than debt, so we're pretty confident it can manage its debt safely. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Tenable 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.

Over 12 months, Tenable Holdings reported revenue of US$611m, which is a gain of 26%, although it did not report any earnings before interest and tax. With any luck the company will be able to grow its way to profitability.

So How Risky Is Tenable Holdings?

While Tenable Holdings lost money on an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) level, it actually generated positive free cash flow US$91m. So although it is loss-making, it doesn't seem to have too much near-term balance sheet risk, keeping in mind the net cash. One positive is that Tenable Holdings is growing revenue apace, which makes it easier to sell a growth story and raise capital if need be. But that doesn't change our opinion that the stock is risky. 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. For example - Tenable Holdings has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

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.

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