We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, although software-as-a-service business Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you’d have done very well indeed. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
So, the natural question for Etruscus Resources (CNSX:ETR) 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’s cash, relative to its cash burn.
When Might Etruscus Resources Run Out Of Money?
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 June 2019, Etruscus Resources had CA$998k in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$571k. So it had a cash runway of approximately 21 months from June 2019. That’s not too bad, but it’s fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is Etruscus Resources’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Etruscus Resources 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. Remarkably, it actually increased its cash burn by 213% in the last year. Given that sharp increase in spending, the company’s cash runway will shrink rapidly as it depletes its cash reserves. Etruscus Resources 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 Etruscus Resources Raise More Cash Easily?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Etruscus Resources shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. 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 comparing a company’s annual cash burn to its total market capitalisation, we can estimate roughly how many shares it would have to issue in order to run the company for another year (at the same burn rate).
Since it has a market capitalisation of CA$6.2m, Etruscus Resources’s CA$571k in cash burn equates to about 9.2% of its market value. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year’s growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.
So, Should We Worry About Etruscus Resources’s Cash Burn?
Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Etruscus Resources’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 Etruscus Resources CEO is paid..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.
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