Force Commodities Limited (ASX:4CE), 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 4CE will have to follow strict debt obligations which will reduce its financial flexibility. While zero-debt makes the due diligence for potential investors less nerve-racking, it poses a new question: how should they assess the financial strength of such companies? 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.
Does 4CE’s growth rate justify its decision for financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?
There are well-known benefits of including debt in capital structure, primarily a lower cost of capital. Though, the trade-offs are that lenders require stricter capital management requirements, in addition to having a higher claim on company assets relative to shareholders. Either 4CE 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.
Can 4CE meet its short-term obligations with the cash in hand?
Since Force Commodities doesn’t have any debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t have any solvency issues, which is a term used to describe the company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. But another important aspect of financial health is liquidity: the company’s ability to meet short-term obligations, including payments to suppliers and employees. With current liabilities at AU$155.5k, the company has maintained a safe level of current assets to meet its obligations, with the current ratio last standing at 28.75x. However, a ratio greater than 3x may be considered as too high, as 4CE could be holding too much capital in a low-return investment environment.
4CE is a fast-growing firm, which supports having have zero-debt and financial freedom to continue to ramp up growth. Since there is also no concerns around 4CE’s liquidity needs, this may be its optimal capital structure for the time being. Going forward, its financial position may change. This is only a rough assessment of financial health, and I’m sure 4CE has company-specific issues impacting its capital structure decisions. You should continue to research Force Commodities to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:
- Historical Performance: What has 4CE’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.
- 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 email@example.com.