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Can Skyharbour Resources (CVE:SYH) Afford To Invest In Growth?

Simply Wall St

Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Skyharbour Resources (CVE:SYH) shareholders should be worried about its cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

See our latest analysis for Skyharbour Resources

Does Skyharbour Resources Have A Long Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In December 2019, Skyharbour Resources had CA$1.6m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was CA$2.6m. That means it had a cash runway of around 7 months as of December 2019. To be frank, this kind of short runway puts us on edge, as it indicates the company must reduce its cash burn significantly, or else raise cash imminently. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

TSXV:SYH Historical Debt, March 13th 2020

How Is Skyharbour Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Skyharbour Resources 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. As it happens, the company's cash burn reduced by 35% over the last year, which suggests that management are mindful of the possibility of running out of cash. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Skyharbour Resources due to its lack of significant operating revenues. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.

How Easily Can Skyharbour Resources Raise Cash?

Even though it has reduced its cash burn recently, shareholders should still consider how easy it would be for Skyharbour Resources to raise more cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to 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.

Skyharbour Resources has a market capitalisation of CA$7.5m and burnt through CA$2.6m last year, which is 35% of the company's market value. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.

Is Skyharbour Resources's Cash Burn A Worry?

On this analysis of Skyharbour Resources's cash burn, we think its cash burn reduction was reassuring, while its cash runway has us a bit worried. After looking at that range of measures, we think shareholders should be extremely attentive to how the company is using its cash, as the cash burn makes us uncomfortable. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 6 warning signs for Skyharbour Resources (3 make us uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.