Does SPX Technologies (NYSE:SPXC) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

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.’ 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. Importantly, SPX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:SPXC) does carry debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. When we think about a company’s use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for SPX Technologies

What Is SPX Technologies’s Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of July 2023 SPX Technologies had US$675.1m of debt, an increase on US$238.6m, over one year. However, it does have US$96.1m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about US$579.0m.

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NYSE:SPXC Debt to Equity History October 12th 2023

How Healthy Is SPX Technologies’ Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that SPX Technologies had liabilities of US$489.6m falling due within a year, and liabilities of US$839.4m due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had US$96.1m in cash and US$318.0m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by US$914.9m.

This deficit isn’t so bad because SPX Technologies is worth US$3.76b, and thus could probably raise enough capital to shore up its balance sheet, if the need arose. However, it is still worthwhile taking a close look at its ability to pay off debt.

We use two main ratios to inform us about debt levels relative to earnings. The first is net debt divided by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), while the second is how many times its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) covers its interest expense (or its interest cover, for short). The advantage of this approach is that we take into account both the absolute quantum of debt (with net debt to EBITDA) and the actual interest expenses associated with that debt (with its interest cover ratio).

SPX Technologies’s net debt to EBITDA ratio of about 2.3 suggests only moderate use of debt. And its strong interest cover of 20.1 times, makes us even more comfortable. Importantly, SPX Technologies grew its EBIT by 86% over the last twelve months, and that growth will make it easier to handle its debt. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine SPX Technologies’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.

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. Looking at the most recent three years, SPX Technologies recorded free cash flow of 38% of its EBIT, which is weaker than we’d expect. That’s not great, when it comes to paying down debt.

Our View

SPX Technologies’s interest cover suggests it can handle its debt as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo could score a goal against an under 14’s goalkeeper. But, on a more sombre note, we are a little concerned by its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow. Looking at all the aforementioned factors together, it strikes us that SPX Technologies can handle its debt fairly comfortably. Of course, while this leverage can enhance returns on equity, it does bring more risk, so it’s worth keeping an eye on this one. 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. For example SPX Technologies has 2 warning signs (and 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) we think you should know about.

If, after all that, you’re more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.

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

Find out whether SPX Technologies 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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