High Debt Companies | Equitymaster (2023)

Companies with high debt should raise a red flag as far as investors are concerned. Shares of these companies are high risk.

If sales were to slowdown, the net profit will take a double blow because the interest payments will remain the same. Thus the market looks at companies with high debt sceptically.

Marketcap: Largecap


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Total Debt
(Curr FY, Rs m)
(Curr FY, x)
(Rs m)
Div Payout Ratio
ADANI GREEN ENERGY 1,851.5536,12045.12,932,757551.344.80.0
ADANI TRANSMISSION2,619.1328,7024.82,921,531329.928.90.0
TATA MOTORS420.11,396,7703.11,395,287NM5.40.0
ADANI POWER261.7487,9572.61,009,1689.84.40.0
TATA POWER202.0475,9002.1645,299130.52.682.2
BHARTI AIRTEL774.71,329,1452.04,621,78451.56.321.3
ADANI ENTERPRISES3,328.3405,0801.83,794,266377.012.423.1
POWER GRID219.11,346,6531.81,527,9739.82.361.4
ADANI PORTS & SEZ711.7457,5231.21,537,26330.13.822.0
UPL 739.9258,6601.0555,37511.72.217.8
JSW STEEL720.7699,7501.01,742,09144.72.819.9
MACROTECH DEVELOPERS1,072.1115,3671.0516,479182.24.70.0
VARUN BEVERAGES1,239.033,5550.8804,76053.615.614.5
TORRENT PHARMA1,565.940,1810.7529,95566.58.8104.5
TATA STEEL120.7688,2870.61,474,7515.31.41.5

Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only. These are not stock recommendations and should not be treated as such. Learn more about our recommendation services here... Also note that these screeners are based only on numbers. There is no screening for management quality.


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Which company has the highest debt?

As per Equitymaster's Stock Screener, these listed companies have the highest debt in India right now...

The below list is filtered by taking into account the company's latest debt to equity ratio and total debt.

High debt companies come under huge trouble in a rising interest rate scenario and during uncertainty. In such environment, your job is to sit on stocks which have a decent track record, pay regular dividends, and have low or zero debt.

Dividend paying stocks because your portfolio will have some cushion from the yields they provide.

And debt free because higher interest rates can just as easily bring down the high debt companies.

What is considered a high level of debt?

Analysts use the debt to equity ratio to measure how much debt a firm uses relative to its equity.

A high debt to equity ratio is risky. Ideally, a ratio less than 1 is considered good, while anything above 2 is highly risky.

We highly recommend you check out Equitymaster's Indian Stock Screener and its segments. Here are some of the screens related to debt.

Could higher interest rates bring down high debt companies?

Higher interest rates need not spell doom for companies. In fact, in the case of some companies such as banks and NBFCs, a higher interest rate environment could propel growth.

Moreover, debt can help companies grow and expand. It's only when the debt is unserviceable that the company will find itself in trouble.

Which companies have no debt?

As per Equitymaster's Stock Screener, these are some of the companies which have no debt on their books.

Investors have a liking for debt free stocks as they have the ability to tide over higher interest rate environments.

Should you totally avoid interest rate sensitive stocks?

It depends upon an individual's risk appetite. In a rising interest rate scenario, high debt stocks are the ones you should definitely avoid.

As central banks increase interest rates to curb inflation, it puts a lot of pressure on stock prices. Resultantly, interest rate sensitive stocks like high debt companies bear the brunt.

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Equitymaster's powerful BSE/NSE Stock Screener allows you to screen stocks based on both pre-set and your own criteria.



Why are big companies in debt? ›

One reason companies carry debt — even big, profitable ones like Alphabet — is that they're trying to time the bond market, said Matteo Arena, a finance professor at Marquette University. Between 2014 and 2020, the U.S. generally had very low interest rates, making borrowing attractive, he explained.

What publicly traded companies have the highest debt? ›

Here we brought a list of Most Indebted Companies in 2022-23
  • The Volkswagen Group. The Volkswagen Group is the most indebted company in the world with a debt of $192 billion US. ...
  • AT&T. ...
  • Daimler AG. ...
  • Toyota: ...
  • SoftBank Group: ...
  • Verizon Communications: ...
  • Ford Motor Company. ...
  • BMW.
Aug 22, 2022

Which company is debt free? ›

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

The company was founded in 1995 and has zero debts on the current date. TCS offers services across industries, including healthcare, insurance, telecom, retail, and others. As of 26 September 2022, the market capitalisation of TCS is Rs 10,91,147 crore.

What big companies are in debt? ›

The total debt of the 22 most indebted companies globally is more than $2.5 trillion, bigger than most economies in the world.
  • Electricité de France. ...
  • Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) ...
  • Enel SpA. ...
  • Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) ...
  • Hyundai Motor Company.
Dec 8, 2022

What industry has high debt? ›

Companies that operate in asset-heavy industries like construction, infrastructure, airline, and hospitality will have a high debt to equity ratio — generally much greater than 1.

Why is the US so heavily in debt? ›

Tax cuts, stimulus programs, increased government spending, and decreased tax revenue caused by widespread unemployment generally account for sharp rises in the national debt.

How much debt is too much? ›

Debt-to-income ratio is your monthly debt obligations compared to your gross monthly income (before taxes), expressed as a percentage. A good debt-to-income ratio is less than or equal to 36%. Any debt-to-income ratio above 43% is considered to be too much debt.

How do you tell if a company has a lot of debt? ›

You can calculate this by taking a company's total debt from its balance sheet and dividing by its EBITDA, which can be found on the income statement. Normal debt levels can vary, but a debt-to-EBITDA ratio above the 4-5 range is typically considered high.

Who owns the largest U.S. debt? ›

Foreign holders of United States treasury debt

Of the total 7.2 trillion held by foreign countries, Japan and Mainland China held the greatest portions, with China holding 870 billion U.S. dollars in U.S. securities. Other foreign holders included oil exporting countries and Caribbean banking centers.

Who owns most of Americans debt? ›

1. Japan. Japan held $1.08 trillion in Treasury securities as of November 2022, beating out China as the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt.

How much debt is Tesla in? ›

Tesla long term debt for 2022 was $1.597B, a 69.55% decline from 2021. Tesla long term debt for 2021 was $5.245B, a 45.4% decline from 2020.

Does being debt free hurt your credit? ›

Having no credit card debt isn't bad for your credit scores, but you do need to maintain open and active credit accounts to have the best scores. By using your credit cards and paying the balances off monthly (so that you carry no debt), you could achieve an excellent credit score.

Is it smart to be debt free? ›

More financial security: Monthly debt payments can limit your available cash to save for an emergency fund, invest or even start a business. By freeing up cash in your monthly budget, you'll have more freedom to fortify your financial health and take advantage of new opportunities.

Does Google have any debt? ›

Alphabet long term debt for 2022 was $14.701B, a 0.78% decline from 2021. Alphabet long term debt for 2021 was $14.817B, a 6.35% increase from 2020. Alphabet long term debt for 2020 was $13.932B, a 205.93% increase from 2019.

Is AT&T in debt? ›

AT&T Total Long Term Debt (Quarterly): 136.02B for Dec. 31, 2022.

How much is Amazon's debt? ›

Amazon long term debt for the quarter ending December 31, 2022 was $58.919B, a 17.71% increase year-over-year. Amazon long term debt for 2021 was $48.744B, a 53.21% increase from 2020.

What is America's biggest debt? ›

At its peak in April 2022, the Fed held more than $6.25 trillion in U.S. government debt, more than double its holdings just before the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020.

Can debt make you rich? ›

By and large, good debt is borrowing that helps you build long-term wealth. Bad debt, on the other hand, can harm your credit and deplete your finances. The difference comes down to two factors: risk and cost.

Is HIGH debt good for the economy? ›

Excessive debt can undermine economic performance when it is followed by transfers that are economically suboptimal. More importantly, these transfers can set off financial distress behavior that undermines subsequent growth, in many cases substantially.

What happens if the US goes into too much debt? ›

A U.S. debt default is much more than the federal government simply not paying its debt. It would greatly impact the economy and people in the U.S: A default would increase interest rates, which would then increase prices and contribute to inflation.

How can America get out of debt? ›

Raising taxes and cutting spending are two of the most popular solutions for reducing debt, but politicians may be hesitant to do both. Diverting spending from the military to other sectors may boost job growth, which could spur consumer spending and help the economy.

What happens if the US has too much debt? ›

National Security Issues. The higher the national debt becomes, the more the U.S. is seen as a global credit risk. This could impact the U.S.'s ability to borrow money in times of increased global pressure and put us at risk for not being able to meet our obligations to our allies—especially in wartime.

What percentage of America is debt free? ›

What percentage of America is debt-free? According to that same Experian study, less than 25% of American households are debt-free. This figure may be small for a variety of reasons, particularly because of the high number of home mortgages and auto loans many Americans have.

Is 20k in debt a lot? ›

“That's because the best balance transfer and personal loan terms are reserved for people with strong credit scores. $20,000 is a lot of credit card debt and it sounds like you're having trouble making progress,” says Rossman.

How much debt can you live with? ›

The 28/36 Rule

And households should spend no more than a maximum of 36% on total debt service, i.e. housing expenses plus other debt, such as car loans and credit cards. So, if you earn $50,000 per year and follow the 28/36 rule, your housing expenses should not exceed $14,000 annually or about $1,167 per month.

How much debt is normal? ›

Average American household debt statistics

The average American holds a debt balance of $96,371, according to 2021 Experian data, the latest data available. That's up 3.9 percent from 2020's average balance of $92,727, largely due to the rising balance of mortgage and auto loans.

How much debt is OK for a company? ›

In general, many investors look for a company to have a debt ratio between 0.3 and 0.6. From a pure risk perspective, debt ratios of 0.4 or lower are considered better, while a debt ratio of 0.6 or higher makes it more difficult to borrow money.

Is company debt a good thing? ›

Generally, too much debt is a bad thing for companies and shareholders because it inhibits a company's ability to create a cash surplus. Furthermore, high debt levels may negatively affect common stockholders, who are last in line for claiming payback from a company that becomes insolvent.

Who paid off all of America's debt? ›

On January 8, 1835, president Andrew Jackson paid off the entire national debt, the only time in U.S. history that has been accomplished.

Who owes the US the most money? ›

Japan is the largest holder of U.S. debt.

Who is buying U.S. debt? ›

This group is comprised of commercial banks, mutual funds, pension funds, state and local governments, and insurance companies. They typically are more rate sensitive than the Fed and foreign governments. Collectively US Financial Institutions is the largest of the three groups of buyers of Treasuries.

Does the US owe China money? ›

US Treasurys Owned by China, in USD Billions

As of Jan. 2021, China owns $1.095 trillion of the total $28 trillion U.S. national debt.

When was the last time the United States was debt free? ›

As a result, the U.S. actually did become debt free, for the first and only time, at the beginning of 1835 and stayed that way until 1837. It remains the only time that a major country was without debt.

Where does us borrow money from? ›

How Does the Federal Government Borrow? To finance the federal debt, the U.S. Treasury sells bonds and other types of “securities”. Anyone can buy a bond or other Treasury security.

Is Apple in debt? ›

Apple long term debt for the quarter ending December 31, 2022 was $99.627B, a 6.57% decline year-over-year. Apple long term debt for 2022 was $98.959B, a 9.3% decline from 2021. Apple long term debt for 2021 was $109.106B, a 10.58% increase from 2020.

How much is Microsoft in debt? ›

Long term debt can be defined as the sum of all long term debt fields. Microsoft long term debt for the quarter ending December 31, 2022 was $44.119B, a 8.58% decline year-over-year. Microsoft long term debt for 2022 was $47.032B, a 6.08% decline from 2021.

What is Apple's total debt? ›

Total debt on the balance sheet as of December 2022 : $111.11 B. According to Apple's latest financial reports the company's total debt is $111.11 B. A company's total debt is the sum of all current and non-current debts.

What credit score is excellent? ›

Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.

What is the average age to be debt free? ›

It can be difficult to get out of debt quickly. The average person should be debt free by the age of 58, unless you choose to extend your payments. Otherwise, you could potentially be making payments for another two decades before you become debt free.

Why is my credit score going down if I pay everything on time? ›

Similarly, if you pay off a credit card debt and close the account entirely, your scores could drop. This is because your total available credit is lowered when you close a line of credit, which could result in a higher credit utilization ratio.

What is a millionaire's best friend? ›

It may sound like an intimidating term, but it really isn't once you know what it means. Here's a little secret: compound interest is a millionaire's best friend. It's really free money.

How can you tell if someone is in debt? ›

That said, there are a few common signs that someone you care about is struggling with debt.
  1. Receiving collection letters or phone calls. ...
  2. Spending doesn't match income. ...
  3. Becoming evasive about finances. ...
  4. Continually asking to borrow money.
Oct 6, 2021

Why pay cash for a car? ›

Spend less money.

There's no monthly payment or interest when you buy a car with cash. You pay for it upfront. That means you spend less money, including on interest payments and any potential loan fees.

Is Amazon a debt free company? ›

In the past few years of profitable and successful selling on Amazon we can safely say that Amazon has played a major role in making us a credit free and profitable company, which was earlier on the edge of getting dissolved due to heavy debt.

What is the biggest debt in the world? ›

Global Debt by Country: The Top 10 Most Indebted Nations
RankCountryDebt-to-GDP (2021)
6 more rows
Feb 1, 2022

Why do companies increase debt instead of equity? ›

Since Debt is almost always cheaper than Equity, Debt is almost always the answer. Debt is cheaper than Equity because interest paid on Debt is tax-deductible, and lenders' expected returns are lower than those of equity investors (shareholders). The risk and potential returns of Debt are both lower.

Why are companies not 100% debt financed? ›

Financial economists have singled out three additional factors that limit the amount of debt financing: personal taxes, bankruptcy costs, and agency costs. Corporations trade off the benefits of government-subsidized debt against the costs of these three factors.

Why is large debt a problem? ›

High and rising deficits and debt can lead to persistently high inflation, rising interest rates, slower economic growth, increased interest payments, reduced fiscal space, greater geopolitical risk, and growing generational imbalances.

Why should a company have debt? ›

Debt can help you save taxes

This interest is deductible from your net profit, whereas dividends are not. As a result, your company's taxable income reduces, and so does your tax liability. With these benefits, your business can easily choose to fund its operations with a business loan.

What happens when a company has too much debt? ›

A company is said to be overleveraged when it has too much debt, impeding its ability to make principal and interest payments and to cover operating expenses. Being overleveraged typically leads to a downward financial spiral resulting in the need to borrow more.

How can you use debt to make money? ›

Using the Power of Good Debt
  1. Debt Consolidation. Servicing multiple debts is costing you way more than you need to pay in interest and fees. ...
  2. Making your Savings Work Harder. ...
  3. Better Cash-flow Management. ...
  4. Borrowing to Create Wealth. ...
  5. Using Lump Sums Wisely. ...
  6. Debt Recycling. ...
  7. Invest in a Geared Managed Share Fund.

Is it good for a company to have no debt? ›

No Debt Concerns

A strong cash position combined with no debt adds value, which is why a company will look more appealing to potential acquirers. For one-year performance, seeing a gain in a volatile market is positive, but when it comes to investing in no-debt companies, it is more of an investment than a trade.

How much debt is OK for a small business? ›

How much debt should a small business have? As a general rule, you shouldn't have more than 30% of your business capital in credit debt; exceeding this percentage tells lenders you may be not profitable or responsible with your money.

Is debt better than equity? ›

Indeed, debt has a real cost to it, the interest payable. But equity has a hidden cost, the financial return shareholders expect to make. This hidden cost of equity is higher than that of debt since equity is a riskier investment. Interest cost can be deducted from income, lowering its post-tax cost further.

Could the US ever get out of debt? ›

In modern history, the U.S. has never defaulted on its debt. The debt ceiling is the self-imposed limit on how much debt Congress allows the federal government to have. If Congress does not raise or suspend the debt ceiling, the U.S. could default on its debt, which would also impact financial markets and the economy.

Who owes money to the United States? ›

Debts Owed by the U.S.
Debts and Debtors of the US Government.
Country NameValue of U.S. Holdings (Billions of $)
United Kingdom1,239.5
Cayman Islands1,217.1
31 more rows

How much debt can the US handle? ›

The debt limit caps the total amount of allowable outstanding U.S. federal debt. The U.S. hit that limit—$31.4 trillion—on January 19, 2023, but the Department of the Treasury has been undertaking a set of “extraordinary measures” so that the debt limit does not yet bind.

Does Google have debt? ›

Alphabet long term debt for 2022 was $14.701B, a 0.78% decline from 2021. Alphabet long term debt for 2021 was $14.817B, a 6.35% increase from 2020. Alphabet long term debt for 2020 was $13.932B, a 205.93% increase from 2019.

Why is debt risky for a company? ›

1 The downside of debt financing is that lenders require the payment of interest, meaning the total amount repaid exceeds the initial sum. Also, payments on debt must be made regardless of business revenue. For smaller or newer businesses, this can be especially dangerous.

Why do companies buy Peoples debt? ›

Creditors sometimes prefer selling their debts at a loss to debt buyers as a tax write-off. Meanwhile, the debt buyer can collect on 100% of monies owed without having to pay back anything to the original creditor.


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