We’re Not Very Worried About Magnetic Resources’s (ASX:MAU) Cash Burn Rate

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. Indeed, Magnetic Resources (ASX:MAU) stock is up 190% in the last year, providing strong gains for shareholders. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

Given its strong share price performance, we think it’s worthwhile for Magnetic Resources shareholders to consider whether its cash burn is concerning. For the purpose of this article, we’ll define cash burn as the amount of cash the company is spending each year to fund its growth (also called 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 Magnetic Resources

How Long Is Magnetic Resources’s Cash Runway?

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. In June 2019, Magnetic Resources had AU$4.8m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$2.9m. That means it had a cash runway of around 20 months as of 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. We should note, however, that if we extrapolate recent trends in its cash burn, then its cash runway would get a lot longer. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

ASX:MAU Historical Debt, February 5th 2020
ASX:MAU Historical Debt, February 5th 2020

How Is Magnetic Resources’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it’s great to see that Magnetic Resources has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced AU$1.8k, so we don’t think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we’ll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 45%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. Magnetic 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 Magnetic Resources Raise More Cash Easily?

While Magnetic Resources does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future growth. We can compare a company’s cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year’s operations.

Magnetic Resources has a market capitalisation of AU$117m and burnt through AU$2.9m last year, which is 2.5% of the company’s market value. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.

How Risky Is Magnetic Resources’s Cash Burn Situation?

On this analysis of Magnetic Resources’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. Based on the factors mentioned in this article, we think its cash burn situation warrants some attention from shareholders, but we don’t think they should be worried. When you don’t have traditional metrics like earnings per share and free cash flow to value a company, many are extra motivated to consider qualitative factors such as whether insiders are buying or selling shares. Please Note: Magnetic Resources insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Of course Magnetic 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.