Here's Why DMC Global (NASDAQ:BOOM) Can Manage Its Debt Responsibly

·4-min read

Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that '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 DMC Global Inc. (NASDAQ:BOOM) makes use of debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

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. 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, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

See our latest analysis for DMC Global

What Is DMC Global's Debt?

As you can see below, DMC Global had US$12.7m of debt at June 2020, down from US$35.9m a year prior. However, its balance sheet shows it holds US$17.2m in cash, so it actually has US$4.53m net cash.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Strong Is DMC Global's Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, DMC Global had liabilities of US$49.9m due within 12 months, and liabilities of US$31.8m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of US$17.2m and US$33.7m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling US$30.8m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Of course, DMC Global has a market capitalization of US$504.1m, so these liabilities are probably manageable. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time. Despite its noteworthy liabilities, DMC Global boasts net cash, so it's fair to say it does not have a heavy debt load!

It is just as well that DMC Global's load is not too heavy, because its EBIT was down 53% over the last year. Falling earnings (if the trend continues) could eventually make even modest debt quite risky. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine DMC Global's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. While DMC Global has net cash on its balance sheet, it's still worth taking a look at its ability to convert earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to free cash flow, to help us understand how quickly it is building (or eroding) that cash balance. In the last three years, DMC Global's free cash flow amounted to 22% of its EBIT, less than we'd expect. That weak cash conversion makes it more difficult to handle indebtedness.

Summing up

We could understand if investors are concerned about DMC Global's liabilities, but we can be reassured by the fact it has has net cash of US$4.53m. So we don't have any problem with DMC Global's use of debt. 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. Take risks, for example - DMC Global has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

If you're interested in investing in businesses that can grow profits without the burden of debt, then check out this free list of growing businesses that have net cash on the balance sheet.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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