Stock Analysis

We're Hopeful That De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) Will Use Its Cash Wisely

ASX:DEG
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We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

So should De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? 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). Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for De Grey Mining

How Long Is De Grey Mining'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. In December 2022, De Grey Mining had AU$162m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$106m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of around 18 months as of December 2022. Importantly, analysts think that De Grey Mining will reach cashflow breakeven in 4 years. Essentially, that means the company will either reduce its cash burn, or else require more cash. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ASX:DEG Debt to Equity History June 15th 2023

How Is De Grey Mining's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Although De Grey Mining had revenue of AU$493k in the last twelve months, its operating revenue was only AU$28k in that time period. We don't think that's enough operating revenue for us to understand too much from revenue growth rates, since the company is growing off a low base. So we'll focus on the cash burn, today. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 4.9%, 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. 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 Hard Would It Be For De Grey Mining To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Since its cash burn is increasing (albeit only slightly), De Grey Mining shareholders should still be mindful of the possibility it will require more cash in the future. 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.

De Grey Mining's cash burn of AU$106m is about 5.3% of its AU$2.0b market capitalisation. 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.

Is De Grey Mining's Cash Burn A Worry?

Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought De Grey Mining's cash burn relative to its market cap was relatively promising. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it 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 De Grey Mining's situation. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 3 warning signs for De Grey Mining (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) 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. 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.