Aurion Resources (CVE:AU) Is In A Good Position To Deliver On Growth Plans

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. Indeed, Aurion Resources (CVE:AU) stock is up 120% in the last year, providing strong gains for shareholders. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

Given its strong share price performance, we think it’s worthwhile for Aurion Resources 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’.

View our latest analysis for Aurion Resources

When Might Aurion Resources Run Out Of Money?

A company’s cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at September 2019, Aurion Resources had cash of CA$20m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$12m. That means it had a cash runway of around 20 months as of September 2019. While that cash runway isn’t too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

TSXV:AU Historical Debt, January 17th 2020
TSXV:AU Historical Debt, January 17th 2020

How Is Aurion Resources’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it’s great to see that Aurion Resources has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced CA$51k, so we don’t think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we’ll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. With the cash burn rate up 27% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. Aurion Resources makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.

How Easily Can Aurion Resources Raise Cash?

While Aurion Resources 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. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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 CA$169m, Aurion Resources’s CA$12m in cash burn equates to about 7.2% of its 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.

So, Should We Worry About Aurion Resources’s Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Aurion Resources’s cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. 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. Notably, our data indicates that Aurion Resources insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

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)

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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