Here's Why Godrej Industries (NSE:GODREJIND) Has A Meaningful Debt Burden (2023)

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. We can see that Godrej Industries Limited (NSE:GODREJIND) does use debt in its business. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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. By replacing dilution, though, debt can be an extremely good tool for businesses that need capital to invest in growth at high rates of return. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

Our analysis indicates that GODREJIND is potentially undervalued!

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What Is Godrej Industries's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at September 2022 Godrej Industries had debt of ₹159.6b, up from ₹127.2b in one year. On the flip side, it has ₹48.2b in cash leading to net debt of about ₹111.4b.

Here's Why Godrej Industries (NSE:GODREJIND) Has A Meaningful Debt Burden (1)

How Strong Is Godrej Industries' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Godrej Industries had liabilities of ₹189.0b due within 12 months, and liabilities of ₹45.6b due beyond 12 months. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of ₹48.2b as well as receivables valued at ₹48.2b due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₹138.1b.

This deficit is considerable relative to its market capitalization of ₹163.9b, so it does suggest shareholders should keep an eye on Godrej Industries' use of debt. Should its lenders demand that it shore up the balance sheet, shareholders would likely face severe dilution.

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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). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

With a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 5.1, it's fair to say Godrej Industries does have a significant amount of debt. However, its interest coverage of 2.9 is reasonably strong, which is a good sign. The silver lining is that Godrej Industries grew its EBIT by 126% last year, which nourishing like the idealism of youth. If it can keep walking that path it will be in a position to shed its debt with relative ease. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is Godrej Industries's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. During the last three years, Godrej Industries burned a lot of cash. 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.

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Our View

To be frank both Godrej Industries's net debt to EBITDA and its track record of converting EBIT to free cash flow make us rather uncomfortable with its debt levels. But on the bright side, its EBIT growth rate is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. Once we consider all the factors above, together, it seems to us that Godrej Industries's debt is making it a bit risky. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we'd generally feel more comfortable with less leverage. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Godrej Industries you should be aware of.

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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Godrej Industries 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.

View the Free Analysis

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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.

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