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We're Hopeful That Patriot One Technologies (TSE:PAT) Will Use Its Cash Wisely

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·4 min read
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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

So, the natural question for Patriot One Technologies (TSE:PAT) 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. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

View our latest analysis for Patriot One Technologies

How Long Is Patriot One Technologies' 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. In April 2021, Patriot One Technologies had CA$16m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$13m. Therefore, from April 2021 it had roughly 15 months of cash runway. Notably, one analyst forecasts that Patriot One Technologies will break even (at a free cash flow level) in about 3 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

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

How Is Patriot One Technologies' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it's great to see that Patriot One Technologies has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced CA$1.2m, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. 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. While it hardly paints a picture of imminent growth, the fact that it has reduced its cash burn by 52% over the last year suggests some degree of prudence. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

How Easily Can Patriot One Technologies Raise Cash?

There's no doubt Patriot One Technologies' 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. 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of CA$75m, Patriot One Technologies' CA$13m in cash burn equates to about 17% of its 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.

How Risky Is Patriot One Technologies' Cash Burn Situation?

The good news is that in our view Patriot One Technologies' cash burn situation gives shareholders real reason for optimism. 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. One real positive is that at least one analyst is forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. 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 Patriot One Technologies' situation. On another note, Patriot One Technologies has 4 warning signs (and 2 which are potentially serious) we think 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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