Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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.
So should Gainey Capital (CVE:GNC) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? For the purposes of this article, cash burn is the annual rate at which an unprofitable company spends cash to fund its growth; its negative free cash flow. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
How Long Is Gainey Capital's Cash Runway?
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. When Gainey Capital last reported its balance sheet in September 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth CA$269k. In the last year, its cash burn was CA$1.3m. Therefore, from September 2019 it had roughly 3 months of cash runway. 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.
How Is Gainey Capital's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Gainey Capital 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. With the cash burn rate up 31% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. Gainey Capital 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 Gainey Capital To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Since its cash burn is moving in the wrong direction, Gainey Capital shareholders may wish to think ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
Since it has a market capitalisation of CA$5.9m, Gainey Capital's CA$1.3m in cash burn equates to about 22% 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.
Is Gainey Capital's Cash Burn A Worry?
There are no prizes for guessing that we think Gainey Capital's cash burn is a bit of a worry. In particular, we think its cash runway suggests it isn't in a good position to keep funding growth. And although we accept its cash burn relative to its market cap wasn't as worrying as its cash runway, it was still a real negative; as indeed were all the factors we considered in this article. 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. For us, it's always important to consider risks around cash burn rates. But investors should look at a whole range of factors when researching a new stock. For example, it could be interesting to see how much the Gainey Capital CEO receives in total remuneration.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
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