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Can Bod Australia (ASX:BDA) Afford To Invest In Growth?

Simply Wall St

There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. But while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Bod Australia (ASX:BDA) shareholders should 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. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.

Check out our latest analysis for Bod Australia

When Might Bod Australia Run Out Of Money?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In June 2019, Bod Australia had AU$2.8m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$6.6m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of around 5 months as of June 2019. With a cash runway that short, we strongly believe that the company must raise cash or else douse its cash burn promptly. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

ASX:BDA Historical Debt, January 17th 2020

How Is Bod Australia's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it's great to see that Bod Australia has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced AU$1.3m, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 120%. It's fair to say that sort of rate of increase cannot be maintained for very long, without putting pressure on the balance sheet. Bod Australia makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.

How Hard Would It Be For Bod Australia To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Bod Australia shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive growth. We can compare a company's cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year's operations.

Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$34m, Bod Australia's AU$6.6m in cash burn equates to about 19% of its market value. As a result, we'd venture that the company could raise more cash for growth without much trouble, albeit at the cost of some dilution.

How Risky Is Bod Australia's Cash Burn Situation?

Even though its cash runway makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Bod Australia's cash burn relative to its market cap was relatively promising. After considering the data discussed in this article, we don't have a lot of confidence that its cash burn rate is prudent, as it seems like it might need more cash soon. Notably, our data indicates that Bod Australia insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

Of course Bod Australia may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

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.