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Nexus Minerals (ASX:NXM) Is In A Good Position To Deliver On Growth Plans

We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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 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 Nexus Minerals (ASX:NXM) 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

Check out our latest analysis for Nexus Minerals

How Long Is Nexus Minerals' Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2023, Nexus Minerals had cash of AU$5.7m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$4.1m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from December 2023 it had roughly 17 months of cash runway. While that cash runway isn't too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

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

How Is Nexus Minerals' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Nexus Minerals isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. So while we can't look to sales to understand growth, we can look at how the cash burn is changing to understand how expenditure is trending over time. The 80% reduction in its cash burn over the last twelve months may be good for protecting the balance sheet but it hardly points to imminent growth. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Nexus Minerals due to its lack of significant operating revenues. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.

Can Nexus Minerals Raise More Cash Easily?

There's no doubt Nexus Minerals' rapidly reducing cash burn brings comfort, but even if it's only hypothetical, it's always worth asking how easily it could raise more money to fund further growth. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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.

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Nexus Minerals has a market capitalisation of AU$32m and burnt through AU$4.1m last year, which is 13% of the company's 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.

Is Nexus Minerals' Cash Burn A Worry?

Nexus Minerals appears to be in pretty good health when it comes to its cash burn situation. One the one hand we have its solid cash burn relative to its market cap, while on the other it can also boast very strong cash burn reduction. While we're the kind of investors who are always a bit concerned about the risks involved with cash burning companies, the metrics we have discussed in this article leave us relatively comfortable about Nexus Minerals' situation. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 5 warning signs for Nexus Minerals (of which 2 are potentially serious!) you should know about.

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.