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Is Amarillo Gold (CVE:AGC) In A Good Position To Invest In Growth?

Simply Wall St

Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. For example, although software-as-a-service business Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So should Amarillo Gold (CVE:AGC) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

Check out our latest analysis for Amarillo Gold

When Might Amarillo Gold Run Out Of Money?

A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. In September 2019, Amarillo Gold had CA$9.6m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was CA$9.9m. Therefore, from September 2019 it had roughly 12 months of cash runway. To be frank, this kind of short runway puts us on edge, as it indicates the company must reduce its cash burn significantly, or else raise cash imminently. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

TSXV:AGC Historical Debt, November 29th 2019

How Is Amarillo Gold's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Amarillo Gold isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 106%. It's fair to say that sort of rate of increase cannot be maintained for very long, without putting pressure on the balance sheet. Amarillo Gold makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.

How Easily Can Amarillo Gold Raise Cash?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Amarillo Gold shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive growth. By comparing a company's annual cash burn to its total market capitalisation, we can estimate roughly how many shares it would have to issue in order to run the company for another year (at the same burn rate).

Since it has a market capitalisation of CA$32m, Amarillo Gold's CA$9.9m in cash burn equates to about 30% of its market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

So, Should We Worry About Amarillo Gold's Cash Burn?

Amarillo Gold is not in a great position when it comes to its cash burn situation. While its cash runway wasn't too bad, its increasing cash burn does leave us rather nervous. Summing up, we think the Amarillo Gold's cash burn is a risk, based on the factors we mentioned in this article. While it's important to consider hard data like the metrics discussed above, many investors would also be interested to note that Amarillo Gold insiders have been trading shares in the company. Click here to find out if they have been buying or selling.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies insiders are buying, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)

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.