Can Cabral Gold (CVE:CBR) Afford To Invest In Growth?

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. 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 Cabral Gold (CVE:CBR) 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its ‘cash runway’.

See our latest analysis for Cabral Gold

Does Cabral Gold Have A Long 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. When Cabral Gold last reported its balance sheet in June 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth CA$138k. Importantly, its cash burn was CA$3.8m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2019 it seems to us it had less than two months of cash runway. It’s extremely surprising to us that the company has allowed its cash runway to get that short! Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

TSXV:CBR Historical Debt, November 7th 2019
TSXV:CBR Historical Debt, November 7th 2019

How Is Cabral Gold’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Cabral Gold isn’t currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 22%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. Cabral Gold 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 Hard Would It Be For Cabral Gold To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Since its cash burn is moving in the wrong direction, Cabral Gold shareholders may wish to think ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to 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.

Cabral Gold has a market capitalisation of CA$8.9m and burnt through CA$3.8m last year, which is 42% of the company’s market value. That’s high expenditure relative to the value of the entire company, so if it does have to issue shares to fund more growth, that could end up really hurting shareholders returns (through significant dilution).

How Risky Is Cabral Gold’s Cash Burn Situation?

As you can probably tell by now, we’re rather concerned about Cabral Gold’s cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway suggests it isn’t in a good position to keep funding growth. And although we accept its increasing cash burn wasn’t as worrying as its cash runway, it was still a real negative; as indeed were all the factors we considered in this article. The measures we’ve considered in this article lead us to believe its cash burn is actually quite concerning, and its weak cash position seems likely to cost shareholders one way or another. Notably, our data indicates that Cabral Gold insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt or this list of stocks which are all forecast to grow.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

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. Thank you for reading.