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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.
So should Millrock Resources (CVE:MRO) 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
Does Millrock Resources Have A Long 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. As at September 2019, Millrock Resources had cash of CA$2.1m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was CA$4.5m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from September 2019 it had roughly 6 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. However, if we extrapolate the company's recent cash burn trend, then it would have a longer cash run way. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is Millrock Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
In our view, Millrock Resources doesn't yet produce significant amounts of operating revenue, since it reported just CA$1.2m in the last twelve months. 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. With the cash burn rate up 45% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Millrock Resources due to its lack of significant operating revenues. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.
How Hard Would It Be For Millrock Resources To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Since its cash burn is moving in the wrong direction, Millrock Resources shareholders may wish to think ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to fund 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.
Millrock Resources has a market capitalisation of CA$13m and burnt through CA$4.5m last year, which is 34% of the company's 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.
So, Should We Worry About Millrock Resources's Cash Burn?
We must admit that we don't think Millrock Resources is in a very strong position, when it comes to its cash burn. While its increasing cash burn wasn't too bad, its cash runway does leave us rather nervous. Once we consider the metrics mentioned in this article together, we're left with very little confidence in the company's ability to manage its cash burn, and we think it will probably need more money. When you don't have traditional metrics like earnings per share and free cash flow to value a company, many are extra motivated to consider qualitative factors such as whether insiders are buying or selling shares. Please Note: Millrock Resources insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders have been buying or selling.
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 email@example.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.
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