June 22, 2024
Investment

Is Aptiv (NYSE:APTV) A Risky Investment?


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. We note that Aptiv PLC (NYSE:APTV) does have debt on its balance sheet. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt A Problem?

Debt and other liabilities become risky for a business when it cannot easily fulfill those obligations, either with free cash flow or by raising capital at an attractive price. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. 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. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for Aptiv

How Much Debt Does Aptiv Carry?

The chart below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Aptiv had US$6.43b in debt in September 2023; about the same as the year before. However, it also had US$1.81b in cash, and so its net debt is US$4.62b.

NYSE:APTV Debt to Equity History January 16th 2024

How Strong Is Aptiv’s Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Aptiv had liabilities of US$4.70b due within 12 months, and liabilities of US$7.94b due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of US$1.81b and US$4.03b worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling US$6.80b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

While this might seem like a lot, it is not so bad since Aptiv has a huge market capitalization of US$22.9b, and so it could probably strengthen its balance sheet by raising capital if it needed to. 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). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

We’d say that Aptiv’s moderate net debt to EBITDA ratio ( being 1.7), indicates prudence when it comes to debt. And its commanding EBIT of 12.2 times its interest expense, implies the debt load is as light as a peacock feather. Importantly, Aptiv grew its EBIT by 55% over the last twelve months, and that growth will make it easier to handle its debt. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Aptiv’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.

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. During the last three years, Aptiv produced sturdy free cash flow equating to 53% of its EBIT, about what we’d expect. This free cash flow puts the company in a good position to pay down debt, when appropriate.

Our View

Happily, Aptiv’s impressive interest cover implies it has the upper hand on its debt. And that’s just the beginning of the good news since its EBIT growth rate is also very heartening. When we consider the range of factors above, it looks like Aptiv is pretty sensible with its use of debt. That means they are taking on a bit more risk, in the hope of boosting shareholder returns. There’s no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet – far from it. Be aware that Aptiv is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is concerning…

Of course, if you’re the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don’t hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.

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

Find out whether Aptiv 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.

View the Free Analysis

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.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. By clicking “Accept All”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. However, you may visit "Cookie Settings" to provide a controlled consent. View more
Accept
Decline