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Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About Equitorial Exploration's (CVE:EXX) Cash Burn Situation

Simply Wall St

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Equitorial Exploration (CVE:EXX) 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. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

See our latest analysis for Equitorial Exploration

How Long Is Equitorial Exploration'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. In June 2019, Equitorial Exploration had CA$242k in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was CA$241k. Therefore, from June 2019 it had roughly 12 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. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

TSXV:EXX Historical Debt, November 22nd 2019
TSXV:EXX Historical Debt, November 22nd 2019

How Is Equitorial Exploration's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Equitorial Exploration 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. Notably, its cash burn was actually down by 82% in the last year, which is a real positive in terms of resilience, but uninspiring when it comes to investment for growth. Equitorial Exploration 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.

Can Equitorial Exploration Raise More Cash Easily?

While we're comforted by the recent reduction evident from our analysis of Equitorial Exploration's cash burn, it is still worth considering how easily the company could raise more funds, if it wanted to accelerate spending to drive growth. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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).

Equitorial Exploration has a market capitalisation of CA$2.4m and burnt through CA$241k last year, which is 10% of the company's 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.

Is Equitorial Exploration's Cash Burn A Worry?

Equitorial Exploration appears to be in pretty good health when it comes to its cash burn situation. Not only was its cash burn relative to its market cap quite good, but its cash burn reduction was a real positive. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we're not too worried about its rate of cash burn. We think it's very important to consider the cash burn for loss making companies, but other considerations such as the amount the CEO is paid can also enhance your understanding of the business. You can click here to see what Equitorial Exploration's CEO gets paid each year.

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.

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.