We Think Petratherm (ASX:PTR) Can Afford To Drive Business Growth

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. Indeed, Petratherm (ASX:PTR) stock is up 286% in the last year, providing strong gains for shareholders. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

In light of its strong share price run, we think now is a good time to investigate how risky Petratherm’s cash burn is. 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.

See our latest analysis for Petratherm

How Long Is Petratherm’s Cash Runway?

You can calculate a company’s cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. When Petratherm last reported its balance sheet in June 2020, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$2.4m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$1.4m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 20 months from June 2020. While that cash runway isn’t too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ASX:PTR Debt to Equity History September 24th 2020

How Is Petratherm’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Although Petratherm reported revenue of AU$67k last year, it didn’t actually have any revenue from operations. That means we consider it a pre-revenue business, and we will focus our growth analysis on cash burn, for now. During the last twelve months, its cash burn actually ramped up 95%. While this spending increase is no doubt intended to drive growth, if the trend continues the company’s cash runway will shrink very quickly. Admittedly, we’re a bit cautious of Petratherm 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 Petratherm Raise Cash?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Petratherm 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 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 AU$29m, Petratherm’s AU$1.4m in cash burn equates to about 5.0% 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.

How Risky Is Petratherm’s Cash Burn Situation?

On this analysis of Petratherm’s cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we’re not too worried about its rate of cash burn. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 3 warning signs for Petratherm (of which 1 is concerning!) 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.

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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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