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Here's Why Celsius Holdings (NASDAQ:CELH) Can Afford Some Debt

Simply Wall St

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.' 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. As with many other companies Celsius Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CELH) makes use of debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

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. 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. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

See our latest analysis for Celsius Holdings

How Much Debt Does Celsius Holdings Carry?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of June 2019 Celsius Holdings had US$9.47m of debt, an increase on US$3.50m, over one year. However, because it has a cash reserve of US$4.83m, its net debt is less, at about US$4.64m.

NasdaqCM:CELH Historical Debt, September 13th 2019

A Look At Celsius Holdings's Liabilities

The latest balance sheet data shows that Celsius Holdings had liabilities of US$9.36m due within a year, and liabilities of US$9.52m falling due after that. Offsetting this, it had US$4.83m in cash and US$13.5m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling US$515.6k more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

This state of affairs indicates that Celsius Holdings's balance sheet looks quite solid, as its total liabilities are just about equal to its liquid assets. So while it's hard to imagine that the US$207.5m company is struggling for cash, we still think it's worth monitoring its balance sheet. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Celsius Holdings'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.

In the last year Celsius Holdings managed to grow its revenue by 50%, to US$62m. With any luck the company will be able to grow its way to profitability.

Caveat Emptor

Even though Celsius Holdings managed to grow its top line quite deftly, the cold hard truth is that it is losing money on the EBIT line. Indeed, it lost US$5.1m at the EBIT level. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above does not give us much confidence that company should be using so much debt. So we think its balance sheet is a little strained, though not beyond repair. Another cause for caution is that is bled US$10m in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So suffice it to say we consider the stock very risky. For riskier companies like Celsius Holdings I always like to keep an eye on the long term profit and revenue trends. Fortunately, you can click to see our interactive graph of its profit, revenue, and operating cashflow.

At the end of the day, it's often better to focus on companies that are free from net debt. You can access our special list of such companies (all with a track record of profit growth). It's free.

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.