There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
So, the natural question for Rockhaven Resources (CVE:RK) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of 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'.
How Long Is Rockhaven Resources' Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. As at March 2021, Rockhaven Resources had cash of CA$4.7m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$639k. That means it had a cash runway of about 7.4 years as of March 2021. While this is only one measure of its cash burn situation, it certainly gives us the impression that holders have nothing to worry about. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is Rockhaven Resources' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Rockhaven 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 35%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. Rockhaven Resources 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 Rockhaven Resources Raise More Cash Easily?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Rockhaven Resources shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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.
Rockhaven Resources' cash burn of CA$639k is about 2.3% of its CA$28m market capitalisation. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.
Is Rockhaven Resources' Cash Burn A Worry?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Rockhaven Resources' cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Although its increasing cash burn does give us reason for pause, the other metrics we discussed in this article form a positive picture overall. Looking at all the measures in this article, together, we're not worried about its rate of cash burn; the company seems well on top of its medium-term spending needs. Taking an in-depth view of risks, we've identified 2 warning signs for Rockhaven Resources that you should be aware of before investing.
Of course Rockhaven Resources 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.
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. 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.
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