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Is Payment Data Systems Inc’s (NASDAQ:PYDS) Balance Sheet A Threat To Its Future?

Zero-debt allows substantial financial flexibility, especially for small-cap companies like Payment Data Systems Inc (NASDAQ:PYDS), as the company does not have to adhere to strict debt covenants. However, it also faces higher cost of capital given interest cost is generally lower than equity. Zero-debt can alleviate some risk associated with the company meeting debt obligations, but this doesn’t automatically mean PYDS has outstanding 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.

See our latest analysis for Payment Data Systems

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

Debt capital generally has lower cost of capital compared to equity funding. But the downside of having debt in a company’s balance sheet is the debtholder’s higher claim on its assets in the case of liquidation, as well as stricter capital management requirements. Either PYDS does not have access to cheap capital, or it may believe this trade-off is not worth it. This makes sense only if the company has a competitive edge and is growing fast off its equity capital. PYDS delivered a strikingly high revenue growth of 89% over the past year. Therefore, the company’s decision to choose financial flexibility is justified as it may need headroom to borrow in the future to sustain high growth.

NasdaqCM:PYDS Historical Debt October 30th 18

Does PYDS’s liquid assets cover its short-term commitments?

Given zero long-term debt on its balance sheet, Payment Data Systems 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. With current liabilities at US$56m, the company has maintained a safe level of current assets to meet its obligations, with the current ratio last standing at 1.05x. Generally, for IT companies, this is a reasonable ratio since there’s a sufficient cash cushion without leaving too much capital idle or in low-earning investments.

Next Steps:

Having no debt on the books means PYDS 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 change. I admit this is a fairly basic analysis for PYDS’s financial health. Other important fundamentals need to be considered alongside. I recommend you continue to research Payment Data Systems to get a more holistic view of the stock by looking at:

  1. Valuation: What is PYDS 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 PYDS is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Historical Performance: What has PYDS’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  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.

To help readers see past 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. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.