Over the past three months, shares of AT&T Inc. T moved higher by 13.10%. 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 AT&T has.
Based on AT&T’s balance sheet as of November 3, 2022, long-term debt is at $123.85 billion and current debt is at $9.63 billion, amounting to $133.48 billion in total debt. Adjusted for $2.42 billion in cash-equivalents, the company’s net debt is at $131.06 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, shareholders look at the debt ratio. Considering AT&T’s $426.46 billion in total assets, the debt-ratio is at 0.31. Generally speaking, a debt-ratio more than 1 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. For example, a debt ratio of 40% might be higher for one industry, but normal for another.
Importance of 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.