Over the past three months, shares of Delta Air Lines DAL fell by 8.61%. Before we understand the importance of debt, let us look at how much debt Delta Air Lines has.
Delta Air Lines's Debt
Based on Delta Air Lines's balance sheet as of April 15, 2021, long-term debt is at $26.06 billion and current debt is at $4.08 billion, amounting to $30.14 billion in total debt. Adjusted for $8.46 billion in cash-equivalents, the company's net debt is at $21.68 billion.
Let's define some of the terms we used in the paragraph above. Current debt is the portion of a company's debt which is due within 1 year, while long-term debt is the portion due in more than 1 year. Cash equivalents include cash and any liquid securities with maturity periods of 90 days or less. Total debt equals current debt plus long-term debt minus cash equivalents.
Shareholders look at the debt-ratio to understand how much financial leverage a company has. Delta Air Lines has $73.08 billion in total assets, therefore making the debt-ratio 0.41. Generally speaking, a debt-ratio more than one means that a large portion of debt is funded by assets. As the debt-ratio increases, so the does the risk of defaulting on loans, if interest rates were to increase. Different industries have different thresholds of tolerance for debt-ratios. A debt ratio of 35% might be higher for one industry and normal for another.
Why Debt Is Important
Besides equity, debt is an important factor in the capital structure of a company, and contributes to its growth. Due to its lower financing cost compared to equity, it becomes an attractive option for executives trying to raise capital.
However, interest-payment obligations can have an adverse impact on the cash-flow of the company. Equity owners can keep excess profit, generated from the debt capital, when companies use the debt capital for its business operations.
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