We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, although software-as-a-service business Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
So, the natural question for QPR Software Oyj (HEL:QPR1V) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. For the purpose of this article, we'll define cash burn as the amount of cash the company is spending each year to fund its growth (also called 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 QPR Software Oyj Have A Long Cash Runway?
You can calculate a company's cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. As at March 2020, QPR Software Oyj had cash of €572k and such minimal debt that we can ignore it for the purposes of this analysis. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through €355k. That means it had a cash runway of around 19 months as of March 2020. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is QPR Software Oyj Growing?
Notably, QPR Software Oyj actually ramped up its cash burn very hard and fast in the last year, by 144%, signifying heavy investment in the business. As if that's not bad enough, the operating revenue also dropped by 3.6%, making us very wary indeed. Considering both these metrics, we're a little concerned about how the company is developing. Of course, we've only taken a quick look at the stock's growth metrics, here. You can take a look at how QPR Software Oyj has developed its business over time by checking this visualization of its revenue and earnings history.
Can QPR Software Oyj Raise More Cash Easily?
Since QPR Software Oyj can't yet boast improving growth metrics, the market will likely be considering how it can raise more cash if need be. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to 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.
QPR Software Oyj has a market capitalisation of €23m and burnt through €355k last year, which is 1.5% 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 QPR Software Oyj's Cash Burn?
On this analysis of QPR Software Oyj'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. While we're the kind of investors who are always a bit concerned about the risks involved with cash burning companies, the metrics we have discussed in this article leave us relatively comfortable about QPR Software Oyj's situation. On another note, QPR Software Oyj has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about.
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.
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