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Is Yieh United Steel (GTSM:9957) A Risky Investment? – Simply Wall St

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Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, ‘The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital. So it might be obvious that you need to consider debt, when you think about how risky any given stock is, because too much debt can sink a company. We can see that Yieh United Steel Corp. (GTSM:9957) does use debt in its business. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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 common (but still painful) scenario is that it has to raise new equity capital at a low price, thus permanently diluting shareholders. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Yieh United Steel

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How Much Debt Does Yieh United Steel Carry?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at June 2019 Yieh United Steel had debt of NT$31.0b, up from NT$32.0k in one year. However, because it has a cash reserve of NT$1.36b, its net debt is less, at about NT$29.6b.

GTSM:9957 Historical Debt, January 24th 2020
GTSM:9957 Historical Debt, January 24th 2020

How Healthy Is Yieh United Steel’s Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Yieh United Steel had liabilities of NT$26.3b due within 12 months and liabilities of NT$12.2b due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had NT$1.36b in cash and NT$4.91b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling NT$32.2b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

This deficit casts a shadow over the NT$15.0b company, like a colossus towering over mere mortals. So we definitely think shareholders need to watch this one closely. After all, Yieh United Steel would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is Yieh United Steel’s earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So if you’re keen to discover more about its earnings, it might be worth checking out this graph of its long term earnings trend.

Over 12 months, Yieh United Steel saw its revenue hold pretty steady, and it did not report positive earnings before interest and tax. While that’s not too bad, we’d prefer see growth.

Caveat Emptor

Importantly, Yieh United Steel had negative earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), over the last year. Indeed, it lost a very considerable NT$1.8b at the EBIT level. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above make us nervous about the company. It would need to improve its operations quickly for us to be interested in it. For example, we would not want to see a repeat of last year’s loss of NT$3.5b. And until that time we think this is a risky stock. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For example, we’ve discovered 1 warning sign for Yieh United Steel that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.

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Pension funds suffer largest investment losses since 2008 financial crisis

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Canadian defined-benefit pension plans collectively suffered their largest losses since the 2008 financial crisis in 2022, recording a median decline in assets of 10.3 per cent despite a partial recovery in the final months of the year, according to a survey from Royal Bank of Canada RY-T.

Pension assets suffered heavy losses in the first two quarters of 2022 before starting to recover in the back half of the year. In the final quarter, pension assets returned 3.8 per cent, as measured by the RBC Investor and Treasury Services All Plan Universe, which serves as a benchmark for performance.

Pension plan investors were battered by unusually volatile markets driven by high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates, as both stocks and bonds returned losses, instead of helping offset each other as has often been the case in past market downturns. And although plans earned positive returns to finish the year, they are facing many of the same pressures in 2023.

“In the next few months, plan sponsors will need to be attentive to risk factors such as the economic impact of the central banks’ actions, ongoing geopolitical tensions and ongoing efforts to contain the COVID virus outbreak in certain emerging markets,” Niki Zaphiratos, managing director for asset owners at RBC I&TS, said in a news release.

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Canadian pension plans’ bond portfolios had median losses of 16.8 per cent in 2022 – the largest annual decline in more than 30 years – and also trailed the benchmark FTSE Canada Bond Index. The losses were driven by the drastic action central banks took to tame inflation by raising interest rates, with longer-duration bonds that are most sensitive to inflation accounting for some of the largest declines.

Yet for pension plans, there was a silver lining to rapid interest-rate increases, which caused future liabilities to fall. As a result, more pension plans finished 2022 in surplus, meaning their assets were greater than their liabilities. And higher yields from fixed-income securities could also give pension plan investment managers more options to reduce risk-taking in their portfolios over the coming year.

Stocks also suffered, rather than acting as a counterweight to falling bond prices. Foreign equities returned 9.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, but closed the year down 11.3 per cent, according to RBC I&TS. And Canadian equities returned 6.3 per cent in the final quarter of the year, bringing their annual loss to a comparatively modest 3.6 per cent. In general, value stocks performed better than higher-risk growth stocks in the quarter.

The last time pension assets declined so sharply was in 2008, when Canadian defined-benefit pension assets posted a median loss of 15.9 per cent.

Defined-benefit pension plans pay fixed benefits for as long as a beneficiary lives based on their contributions and years of service.

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Intel Cuts Pay Across Company to Preserve Cash for Investment

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(Bloomberg) — Intel Corp., struggling with a rapid drop in revenue and earnings, is cutting management pay across the company to cope with a shaky economy and preserve cash for an ambitious turnaround plan.

Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger is taking a 25% cut to his base salary, the chipmaker said Tuesday. His executive leadership team will see their pay packets decreased by 15%. Senior managers will take a 10% reduction, and the compensation for mid-level managers will be cut by 5%.

“As we continue to navigate macroeconomic headwinds and work to reduce costs across the company, we’ve made several adjustments to our 2023 employee compensation and rewards programs,” Intel said in a statement. “These changes are designed to impact our executive population more significantly and will help support the investments and overall workforce needed to accelerate our transformation and achieve our long-term strategy.”

The move follows a gloomy outlook from Intel last week, when the company predicted one of the worst quarters in its more than 50-year history. Stiffer competition and a sharp slowdown in personal-computer demand has wiped out profits and eaten into Intel’s cash reserves. At the same time, Gelsinger wants to invest in the company’s future. He’s two years into a turnaround effort aimed at restoring Intel’s technological leadership in the $580 billion chip industry.

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Gelsinger will keep using cash to reward shareholders, meanwhile. Intel said last week that it remains committed to offering a competitive dividend. Analysts have speculated that the company may lower its payout to cope with the slowdown.

Under Gelsinger’s plan, the company is looking to introduce new production technology at an unprecedented pace. It will also build new plants in Europe and the US and try to win orders from other chipmakers as an outsourced manufacturer. That move will put Intel in direct competition with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co., two Asian companies that have passed it in the rankings of chipmakers by size and capabilities.

Intel isn’t the only big company trimming executive pay. Apple Inc., one of the few tech giants to forgo major layoffs, is cutting the pay of CEO Tim Cook by more than 40% to $49 million for 2023. Some high-profile finance firms have made similar moves, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon seeing his 2022 compensation trimmed by about 30% to $25 million.

Intel is taking other steps to rein in expenses. That includes headcount reductions and slower spending on new plants — part of an effort to save $3 billion annually. That figure will swell to much as $10 billion a year by the end of 2025, the company has said.

Intel, which informed staff of the latest cutbacks earlier Tuesday, is also reducing the match it offers to pension contributions. The Santa Clara, California-based company thanked employees for their patience and commitment.

Hourly workers and employees below the seventh tier in the company’s system won’t be affected.

(Updates with spending plans and earnings report starting in fourth paragraph.)

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Lithium Americas stock rises on GM’s $650 million equity investment

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Lithium Americas Corp.
LAC,
+13.19%

stock was up 9.2% in premarket trading Tuesday after it said General Motors Co.
GM,
+8.14%

agreed to invest $650 million in the company to help develop Nevada’s Thacker Pass mine, the largest known lithium source in the U.S. Lithium Americas said the project would create 1,000 jobs in construction and 500 in operations. It would produce lithium for up to 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) a year. Lithium from Thacker Pass will be used in GM’s proprietary batteries for its EVs. “Direct sourcing critical EV raw materials and components from suppliers in North America and free-trade-agreement countries helps make our supply chain more secure, helps us manage cell costs, and creates jobs,” GM CEO Mary Barra said. Thacker Pass is scheduled to go into operation in the second half of 2026, the companies said.

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