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How Financially Strong Is SemiLEDs Corporation (LEDS)?

SemiLEDs Corporation (NASDAQ:LEDS) is a small-cap stock with a market capitalization of USD $7.62M. While investors primarily focus on the growth potential and competitive landscape of the small-cap companies, they end up ignoring a key aspect, which could be the biggest threat to its existence: its financial health. Why is it important? A major downturn in the energy industry has resulted in over 150 companies going bankrupt and has put more than 100 on the verge of a collapse, primarily due to excessive debt. These factors make a basic understanding of a company’s financial position of utmost importance for a potential investor. Here are a few basic checks that are good enough to have a broad overview of the company’s financial strength. Check out our latest analysis for SemiLEDs

Does LEDS generate enough cash through operations?

NasdaqCM:LEDS Historical Debt Nov 4th 17
NasdaqCM:LEDS Historical Debt Nov 4th 17

There are many headwinds that come unannounced, such as natural disasters and political turmoil, which can challenge a small business and its ability to adapt and recover. These catastrophes does not mean the company can stop servicing its debt obligations. We can test the impact of these adverse events by looking at whether cash from its current operations can pay back its current debt obligations. LEDS’s recent operating cash flow was -1.12 times its debt within the past year. This means what LEDS can generate on an annual basis, which is currently a negative value, does not cover what it actually owes its debtors in the near term. This raises a red flag, looking at LEDS’s operations at this point in time.

Can LEDS pay its short-term liabilities?

What about its commitments to other stakeholders such as payments to suppliers and employees? As cash flow from operation is hindered by adverse events, LEDS may need to liquidate its short-term assets to meet these upcoming payments. We should examine if the company’s cash and short-term investment levels match its current liabilities. Our analysis shows that LEDS does have enough liquid assets on hand to meet its upcoming liabilities, which lowers our concerns should adverse events arise.

Does LEDS face the risk of succumbing to its debt-load?

While ideally the debt-to equity ratio of a financially healthy company should be less than 40%, several factors such as industry life-cycle and economic conditions can result in a company raising a significant amount of debt. LEDS’s debt-to-equity ratio stands at 32.39%, which means its risk of facing a debt-overhang is very low.

Next Steps:

Are you a shareholder? LEDS’s low debt is also met with low coverage. This indicates room for improvement as its cash flow covers less than a quarter of its borrowings, which means its operating efficiency could be better. However, the company exhibits an ability to meet its near term obligations should an adverse event occur. Given that its financial position may be different. I suggest keeping on top of market expectations for LEDS’s future growth on our free analysis platform.

Are you a potential investor? SemiLEDs currently has financial flexibility to ramp up growth in the future. Moreover, its high liquidity means the company should continue to operate smoothly in the case of adverse events. To gain more conviction in the stock, you need to also analyse LEDS’s track record. I encourage you to continue your research by taking a look at LEDS’s past performance analysis on our free platform in order to determine for yourself whether its debt position is justified.

To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.