Rio Tinto's Debt Overview

Rio Tinto's Debt Overview

Shares of Rio Tinto Inc. RIO moved higher by 24.53% in the past three months. When understanding a companies price change over a time period like 3 months, it could be helpful to look at its financials. One key aspect of a companies financials is its debt, but before we understand the importance of debt, let's look at how much debt Rio Tinto has.

Rio Tinto Debt

According to the Rio Tinto's most recent balance sheet as reported on March 2, 2017, total debt is at $19.18 billion, with $18.26 billion in long-term debt and $922.00 million in current debt. Adjusting for $8.20 billion in cash-equivalents, the company has a net debt of $10.98 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 includes 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.

To understand the degree of financial leverage a company has, investors look at the debt ratio. Considering Rio Tinto's $89.26 billion in total assets, the debt-ratio is at 0.21. As a rule of thumb, a debt-ratio more than 1 indicates that a considerable portion of debt is funded by assets. A higher debt-ratio can also imply that the company might be putting itself at risk for default, if interest rates were to increase. However, debt-ratios vary widely across different industries. A debt ratio of 40% might be higher for one industry, but average for another.

Why Investors Look At Debt?

Debt is an important factor in the capital structure of a company, and can help it attain growth. Debt usually has a relatively lower financing cost than equity, which makes it an attractive option for executives.

Interest-payment obligations can impact 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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This article was generated by Benzinga's automated content engine and reviewed by an editor.

Posted In: BZI-DebtNewsIntraday UpdateMarkets