Does 123fahrschule (FRA:123F) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

Warren Buffett famously said, ‘Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ When we think about how risky a company is, we always like to look at its use of debt, since debt overload can lead to ruin. Importantly, 123fahrschule SE (FRA:123F) does carry debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

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. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. 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. When we think about a company’s use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

See our latest analysis for 123fahrschule

How Much Debt Does 123fahrschule Carry?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of December 2023 123fahrschule had €2.43m of debt, an increase on €2.16m, over one year. However, it does have €744.6k in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about €1.69m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
DB:123F Debt to Equity History March 23rd 2024

A Look At 123fahrschule’s Liabilities

The latest balance sheet data shows that 123fahrschule had liabilities of €3.74m due within a year, and liabilities of €6.14m falling due after that. On the other hand, it had cash of €744.6k and €2.99m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by €6.16m.

This deficit is considerable relative to its market capitalization of €7.51m, so it does suggest shareholders should keep an eye on 123fahrschule’s use of debt. This suggests shareholders would be heavily diluted if the company needed to shore up its balance sheet in a hurry. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if 123fahrschule can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.

Over 12 months, 123fahrschule reported revenue of €21m, which is a gain of 24%, although it did not report any earnings before interest and tax. Shareholders probably have their fingers crossed that it can grow its way to profits.

Caveat Emptor

While we can certainly appreciate 123fahrschule’s revenue growth, its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss is not ideal. Indeed, it lost a very considerable €4.4m at the EBIT level. When we look at that and recall the liabilities on its balance sheet, relative to cash, it seems unwise to us for the company to have any debt. So we think its balance sheet is a little strained, though not beyond repair. Another cause for caution is that is bled €3.5m in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So in short it’s a really risky stock. There’s no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet – far from it. For instance, we’ve identified 5 warning signs for 123fahrschule (3 are a bit concerning) 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.

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

Find out whether 123fahrschule 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.

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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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