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. By way of example, Energy Fuels (TSE:EFR) has seen its share price rise 169% over the last year, delighting many shareholders. 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.
Given its strong share price performance, we think it's worthwhile for Energy Fuels shareholders to consider whether its cash burn is concerning. 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'.
Does Energy Fuels Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In June 2021, Energy Fuels had US$79m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$34m. That means it had a cash runway of about 2.3 years as of June 2021. Notably, however, analysts think that Energy Fuels will break even (at a free cash flow level) before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Well Is Energy Fuels Growing?
Energy Fuels reduced its cash burn by 8.8% during the last year, which points to some degree of discipline. But the revenue dip of 12% in the same period was a bit concerning. In light of the data above, we're fairly sanguine about the business growth trajectory. 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 Energy Fuels Raise Cash?
Energy Fuels seems to be in a fairly good position, in terms of cash burn, but we still think it's worthwhile considering how easily it could raise more money if it wanted to. 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. 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.
Energy Fuels has a market capitalisation of US$780m and burnt through US$34m last year, which is 4.4% 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.
How Risky Is Energy Fuels' Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Energy Fuels' cash burn. For example, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap suggests that the company is on a good path. Although its falling revenue does give us reason for pause, the other metrics we discussed in this article form a positive picture overall. It's clearly very positive to see that analysts are forecasting the company will break even fairly soon. Taking all the factors in this report into account, we're not at all worried about its cash burn, as the business appears well capitalized to spend as needs be. Taking an in-depth view of risks, we've identified 4 warning signs for Energy Fuels that you should be aware of before investing.
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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