Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether S2 Resources (ASX:S2R) shareholders should 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
When Might S2 Resources Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When S2 Resources last reported its balance sheet in December 2020, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$15m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$4.6m. So it had a cash runway of about 3.1 years from December 2020. There's no doubt that this is a reassuringly long runway. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is S2 Resources' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because S2 Resources isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. While it hardly paints a picture of imminent growth, the fact that it has reduced its cash burn by 26% over the last year suggests some degree of prudence. 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 S2 Resources To Raise More Cash For Growth?
While S2 Resources is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive growth. We can compare a company's cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year's operations.
Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$43m, S2 Resources' AU$4.6m in cash burn equates to about 11% of its market value. Given that situation, it's fair to say the company wouldn't have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.
So, Should We Worry About S2 Resources' Cash Burn?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about S2 Resources' cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Its cash burn reduction wasn't quite as good, but was still rather encouraging! Looking at all the measures in this article, together, we're not worried about its rate of cash burn; the company seems well on top of its medium-term spending needs. On another note, S2 Resources has 5 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit concerning) we think you should know about.
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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.
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