There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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?
So should Falcon Oil & Gas (CVE:FO) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
How Long Is Falcon Oil & Gas' Cash Runway?
A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. In December 2020, Falcon Oil & Gas had US$11m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$2.2m. Therefore, from December 2020 it had 5.0 years of cash runway. Even though this is but one measure of the company's cash burn, the thought of such a long cash runway warms our bellies in a comforting way. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is Falcon Oil & Gas' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
In our view, Falcon Oil & Gas doesn't yet produce significant amounts of operating revenue, since it reported just US$5.0k in the last twelve months. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. As it happens, the company's cash burn reduced by 12% over the last year, which suggests that management are maintaining a fairly steady rate of business development, albeit with a slight decrease in spending. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Falcon Oil & Gas due to its lack of significant operating revenues. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.
How Easily Can Falcon Oil & Gas Raise Cash?
Even though it has reduced its cash burn recently, shareholders should still consider how easy it would be for Falcon Oil & Gas to raise more cash in the future. 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 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).
Falcon Oil & Gas has a market capitalisation of US$89m and burnt through US$2.2m last year, which is 2.5% of the company's market value. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.
So, Should We Worry About Falcon Oil & Gas' Cash Burn?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Falcon Oil & Gas' cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Its weak point is its cash burn reduction, but even that wasn't too bad! After considering a range of factors in this article, we're pretty relaxed about its cash burn, since the company seems to be in a good position to continue to fund its growth. On another note, Falcon Oil & Gas has 2 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) 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 interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
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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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