Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether OncoSil Medical (ASX:OSL) 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
When Might OncoSil Medical Run Out Of Money?
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. In June 2021, OncoSil Medical had AU$12m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$8.9m. Therefore, from June 2021 it had roughly 17 months of cash runway. Notably, analysts forecast that OncoSil Medical will break even (at a free cash flow level) in about 2 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is OncoSil Medical's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Although OncoSil Medical had revenue of AU$1.3m in the last twelve months, its operating revenue was only AU$213k in that time period. 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by a very significant 98%. Oftentimes, increased cash burn simply means a company is accelerating its business development, but one should always be mindful that this causes the cash runway to shrink. 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 OncoSil Medical Raise Cash?
Given its cash burn trajectory, OncoSil Medical shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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).
Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$43m, OncoSil Medical's AU$8.9m in cash burn equates to about 21% of its market value. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.
How Risky Is OncoSil Medical's Cash Burn Situation?
On this analysis of OncoSil Medical's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it will reach breakeven. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we're not too worried about its rate of cash burn. On another note, OncoSil Medical has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) 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 companies insiders are buying, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
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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