Stock Analysis

Will De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

ASX:DEG
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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. 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 should De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? 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. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

See our latest analysis for De Grey Mining

How Long Is De Grey Mining'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. As at June 2021, De Grey Mining had cash of AU$71m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$61m over the trailing twelve months. 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. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ASX:DEG Debt to Equity History February 24th 2022

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

In the last year, De Grey Mining did book revenue of AU$356k, but its revenue from operations was less, at just AU$36k. Given how low that operating leverage is, we think it's too early to put much weight on the revenue growth, so we'll focus on how the cash burn is changing, instead. Its cash burn positively exploded in the last year, up 233%. 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. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

How Easily Can De Grey Mining Raise Cash?

Given its cash burn trajectory, De Grey Mining 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. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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$61m is about 3.7% of its AU$1.6b 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.

How Risky Is De Grey Mining's Cash Burn Situation?

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. 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. On another note, De Grey Mining has 5 warning signs (and 2 which make us uncomfortable) we think you should know about.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)

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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.