Here’s Why We’re Watching Sonora Gold & Silver’s (CVE:SOC) Cash Burn Situation

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. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So should Sonora Gold & Silver (CVE:SOC) 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.

View our latest analysis for Sonora Gold & Silver

When Might Sonora Gold & Silver Run Out Of Money?

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 July 2019, Sonora Gold & Silver had cash of CA$91k and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$149k. That means it had a cash runway of around 7 months as of July 2019. That’s quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

TSXV:SOC Historical Debt, November 28th 2019
TSXV:SOC Historical Debt, November 28th 2019

How Is Sonora Gold & Silver’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Sonora Gold & Silver 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 48% over the last year, which suggests that management are mindful of the possibility of running out of cash. Sonora Gold & Silver makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. So we’d generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.

Can Sonora Gold & Silver Raise More Cash Easily?

While Sonora Gold & Silver is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it’s still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.

Sonora Gold & Silver’s cash burn of CA$149k is about 4.7% of its CA$3.2m market capitalisation. That’s a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.

Is Sonora Gold & Silver’s Cash Burn A Worry?

Even though its cash runway makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Sonora Gold & Silver’s cash burn relative to its market cap was relatively promising. We don’t think its cash burn is particularly problematic, but after considering the range of factors in this article, we do think shareholders should be monitoring how it changes over time. While we always like to monitor cash burn for early stage companies, qualitative factors such as the CEO pay can also shed light on the situation. Click here to see free what the Sonora Gold & Silver CEO is paid..

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies insiders are buying, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)

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