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CompX International Inc. (NYSEMKT:CIX): Time For A Financial Health Check

Brad Riley

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CompX International Inc. (NYSEMKT:CIX), which has zero-debt on its balance sheet, can maximize capital returns by increasing debt due to its lower cost of capital. However, the trade-off is CIX will have to follow strict debt obligations which will reduce its financial flexibility. While CIX has no debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t necessarily mean it exhibits financial strength. I will go over a basic overview of the stock’s financial health, which I believe provides a ballpark estimate of their financial health status.

View our latest analysis for CompX International

Does CIX’s growth rate justify its decision for financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?

Debt funding can be cheaper than issuing new equity due to lower interest cost on debt. However, the trade-off is debtholders’ higher claim on company assets in the event of liquidation and stringent obligations around capital management. The lack of debt on CIX’s balance sheet may be because it does not have access to cheap capital, or it may believe this trade-off is not worth it. Choosing financial flexibility over capital returns make sense if CIX is a high-growth company. CIX’s revenue growth over the past year is a single-digit 2.3% which is relatively low for a small-cap company. While its low growth hardly justifies opting for zero-debt, the company may have high growth projects in the pipeline to justify the trade-off.

AMEX:CIX Historical Debt February 20th 19

Can CIX meet its short-term obligations with the cash in hand?

Given zero long-term debt on its balance sheet, CompX International has no solvency issues, which is used to describe the company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. However, another measure of financial health is its short-term obligations, which is known as liquidity. These include payments to suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. At the current liabilities level of US$13m, it appears that the company has been able to meet these obligations given the level of current assets of US$75m, with a current ratio of 5.68x. Having said that, many consider a ratio above 3x to be high, although this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Next Steps:

Having no debt on the books means CIX has more financial freedom to keep growing at its current fast rate. This may mean this is an optimal capital structure for the business, given that it is also meeting its short-term commitment. In the future, its financial position may be different. Keep in mind I haven’t considered other factors such as how CIX has been performing in the past. You should continue to research CompX International to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CIX’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CIX’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CIX worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CIX is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.