Here's Why Priner Serviços Industriais (BVMF:PRNR3) Can Manage Its Debt Responsibly

Simply Wall St · 09/15/2023 09:04

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' It's only natural to consider a company's balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. As with many other companies Priner Serviços Industriais S.A. (BVMF:PRNR3) makes use of debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt Dangerous?

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. 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, 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 Priner Serviços Industriais

What Is Priner Serviços Industriais's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of June 2023 Priner Serviços Industriais had R$254.5m of debt, an increase on R$65.3m, over one year. However, it also had R$78.9m in cash, and so its net debt is R$175.6m.

BOVESPA:PRNR3 Debt to Equity History September 15th 2023

How Strong Is Priner Serviços Industriais' Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Priner Serviços Industriais had liabilities of R$238.7m due within 12 months and liabilities of R$248.2m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of R$78.9m and R$292.8m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling R$115.2m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

While this might seem like a lot, it is not so bad since Priner Serviços Industriais has a market capitalization of R$370.3m, and so it could probably strengthen its balance sheet by raising capital if it needed to. However, it is still worthwhile taking a close look at its ability to pay off debt.

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). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

Priner Serviços Industriais has net debt of just 1.2 times EBITDA, indicating that it is certainly not a reckless borrower. And it boasts interest cover of 9.2 times, which is more than adequate. Even more impressive was the fact that Priner Serviços Industriais grew its EBIT by 200% over twelve months. If maintained that growth will make the debt even more manageable in the years ahead. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Priner Serviços Industriais will need earnings to service that debt. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Over the last three years, Priner Serviços Industriais saw substantial negative free cash flow, in total. While investors are no doubt expecting a reversal of that situation in due course, it clearly does mean its use of debt is more risky.

Our View

Based on what we've seen Priner Serviços Industriais is not finding it easy, given its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow, but the other factors we considered give us cause to be optimistic. In particular, we are dazzled with its EBIT growth rate. Looking at all this data makes us feel a little cautious about Priner Serviços Industriais's debt levels. While debt does have its upside in higher potential returns, we think shareholders should definitely consider how debt levels might make the stock more risky. 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. We've identified 5 warning signs with Priner Serviços Industriais (at least 2 which don't sit too well with us) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.