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Is Coelacanth Energy (CVE:CEI) In A Good Position To Deliver On Growth Plans?

We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

So should Coelacanth Energy (CVE:CEI) 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. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

Check out our latest analysis for Coelacanth Energy

When Might Coelacanth Energy Run Out Of Money?

A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. As at December 2023, Coelacanth Energy had cash of CA$83m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was CA$79m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from December 2023 it had roughly 13 months of cash runway. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Well Is Coelacanth Energy Growing?

It was quite stunning to see that Coelacanth Energy increased its cash burn by 233% over the last year. While that's concerning on it's own, the fact that operating revenue was actually down 7.7% over the same period makes us positively tremulous. Considering these two factors together makes us nervous about the direction the company seems to be heading. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

How Easily Can Coelacanth Energy Raise Cash?

Since Coelacanth Energy can't yet boast improving growth metrics, the market will likely be considering how it can raise more cash if need be. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive growth. By looking at a company's cash burn relative to its market capitalisation, we gain insight on how much shareholders would be diluted if the company needed to raise enough cash to cover another year's cash burn.

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Coelacanth Energy's cash burn of CA$79m is about 18% of its CA$429m market capitalisation. Given that situation, it's fair to say the company wouldn't have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.

So, Should We Worry About Coelacanth Energy's Cash Burn?

Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Coelacanth Energy's cash burn relative to its market cap was relatively promising. Looking at the factors mentioned in this short report, we do think that its cash burn is a bit risky, and it does make us slightly nervous about the stock. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 4 warning signs for Coelacanth Energy you should be aware of, and 2 of them are concerning.

If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt or this list of stocks which are all forecast to grow.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.