Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Allegiant Gold (CVE:AUAU) shareholders should 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
How Long Is Allegiant Gold's Cash Runway?
You can calculate a company's cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. As at March 2022, Allegiant Gold had cash of CA$8.3m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$3.0m. So it had a cash runway of about 2.8 years from March 2022. That's decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is Allegiant Gold's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Allegiant 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. Even though it doesn't get us excited, the 25% reduction in cash burn year on year does suggest the company can continue operating for quite some time. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. 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 Allegiant Gold Raise Cash?
Even though it has reduced its cash burn recently, shareholders should still consider how easy it would be for Allegiant Gold to raise more cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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 CA$28m, Allegiant Gold's CA$3.0m in cash burn equates to about 11% of its market value. 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.
How Risky Is Allegiant Gold's Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Allegiant Gold's cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. And even though its cash burn reduction wasn't quite as impressive, it was still a positive. After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we're pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash, as it seems on track to meet its needs over the medium term. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 5 warning signs for Allegiant Gold you should be aware of, and 1 of them is concerning.
Of course Allegiant Gold 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.
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.