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 history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
So should Red Metal (ASX:RDM) shareholders be worried about its 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
When Might Red Metal Run Out Of Money?
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 Red Metal last reported its balance sheet in June 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$2.5m. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$1.6m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2021 it had roughly 19 months of cash runway. While that cash runway isn't too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is Red Metal Growing?
Notably, Red Metal actually ramped up its cash burn very hard and fast in the last year, by 196%, signifying heavy investment in the business. While that's concerning on it's own, the fact that operating revenue was actually down 16% over the same period makes us positively tremulous. In light of the above-mentioned, we're pretty wary of the trajectory the company seems to be on. Of course, we've only taken a quick look at the stock's growth metrics, here. This graph of historic earnings and revenue shows how Red Metal is building its business over time.
How Easily Can Red Metal Raise Cash?
Red Metal revenue is declining and its cash burn is increasing, so many may be considering its need to raise more cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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.
Red Metal has a market capitalisation of AU$28m and burnt through AU$1.6m last year, which is 5.6% of the company's market value. 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.
Is Red Metal's Cash Burn A Worry?
Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Red Metal'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. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 2 warning signs for Red Metal that readers should think about before committing capital to this stock.
Of course Red Metal 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.
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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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