Stock Analysis

We're Not Very Worried About De Grey Mining's (ASX:DEG) Cash Burn Rate

ASX:DEG
Source: Shutterstock

We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) shareholders have done very well over the last year, with the share price soaring by 339%. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

So notwithstanding the buoyant share price, we think it's well worth asking whether De Grey Mining's cash burn is too risky. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

Check out 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. When De Grey Mining last reported its balance sheet in December 2020, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$104m. In the last year, its cash burn was AU$37m. Therefore, from December 2020 it had 2.8 years of cash runway. Arguably, that's a prudent and sensible length of runway to have. 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 March 12th 2021

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

Whilst it's great to see that De Grey Mining has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced AU$375k, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. Its cash burn positively exploded in the last year, up 206%. With that kind of spending growth its cash runway will shorten quickly, as it simultaneously uses its cash while increasing the burn rate. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. 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. 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).

De Grey Mining's cash burn of AU$37m is about 3.3% of its AU$1.1b market capitalisation. That's a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.

So, Should We Worry About De Grey Mining's Cash Burn?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about De Grey Mining's cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While we must concede that its increasing cash burn is a bit worrying, the other factors mentioned in this article provide great comfort when it comes to the cash burn. 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. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for De Grey Mining (of which 2 are 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.

When trading De Grey Mining or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted


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.

View the Free Analysis

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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020


Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.