Stock Analysis

We're Keeping An Eye On De Grey Mining's (ASX:DEG) Cash Burn Rate

ASX:DEG
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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.

So, the natural question for De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) 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. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

See our latest analysis for De Grey Mining

Does De Grey Mining Have A Long Cash Runway?

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. When De Grey Mining last reported its balance sheet in June 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$71m. In the last year, its cash burn was AU$61m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 14 months from June 2021. 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. Importantly, if we extrapolate recent cash burn trends, the cash runway would be noticeably longer. 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 October 11th 2021

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

Although De Grey Mining had revenue of AU$266k in the last twelve months, its operating revenue was only AU$36k 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. Remarkably, it actually increased its cash burn by 233% in the last year. With that kind of spending growth its cash runway will shorten quickly, as it simultaneously uses its cash while increasing the burn rate. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.

How Easily Can De Grey Mining Raise Cash?

While De Grey Mining 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. 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.

De Grey Mining has a market capitalisation of AU$1.7b and burnt through AU$61m last year, which is 3.6% of the company's 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 De Grey Mining's Cash Burn Situation?

On this analysis of De Grey Mining'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. 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. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for De Grey Mining (of which 2 are a bit 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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether De Grey Mining is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.

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