Companies Like Weebit Nano (ASX:WBT) Are In A Position To Invest In Growth

July 22, 2022
  •  Updated
August 15, 2022
ASX:WBT
Source: Shutterstock

We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Weebit Nano (ASX:WBT) shareholders should 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. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

Check out our latest analysis for Weebit Nano

How Long Is Weebit Nano's Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2021, Weebit Nano had cash of AU$48m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was AU$15m. So it had a cash runway of about 3.2 years from December 2021. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ASX:WBT Debt to Equity History July 22nd 2022

How Is Weebit Nano's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Weebit Nano didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 126%. It's fair to say that sort of rate of increase cannot be maintained for very long, without putting pressure on the balance sheet. 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 Hard Would It Be For Weebit Nano To Raise More Cash For Growth?

While Weebit Nano 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. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and fund 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$498m, Weebit Nano's AU$15m in cash burn equates to about 3.0% of its market value. So it could almost certainly just borrow a little to fund another year's growth, or else easily raise the cash by issuing a few shares.

So, Should We Worry About Weebit Nano's Cash Burn?

It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Weebit Nano is burning through its cash. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Although we do find its increasing cash burn to be a bit of a negative, once we consider the other metrics mentioned in this article together, the overall picture is one we are comfortable with. After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we're pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash, as it seems on track to meet its needs over the medium term. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 2 warning signs for Weebit Nano (of which 1 is a bit concerning!) 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)

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