Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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 Gentian Diagnostics (OB:GENT) shareholders be worried about its 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). We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
Does Gentian Diagnostics 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 Gentian Diagnostics last reported its balance sheet in March 2022, it had zero debt and cash worth kr100m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through kr42m. That means it had a cash runway of about 2.4 years as of March 2022. Notably, however, the one analyst we see covering the stock thinks that Gentian Diagnostics will break even (at a free cash flow level) before then. In that case, it may never reach the end of its cash runway. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is Gentian Diagnostics Growing?
Notably, Gentian Diagnostics actually ramped up its cash burn very hard and fast in the last year, by 104%, signifying heavy investment in the business. But the silver lining is that operating revenue increased by 26% in that time. In light of the data above, we're fairly sanguine about the business growth trajectory. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.
Can Gentian Diagnostics Raise More Cash Easily?
While Gentian Diagnostics seems to be in a fairly good position, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. 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 and fund 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).
Gentian Diagnostics has a market capitalisation of kr617m and burnt through kr42m last year, which is 6.8% of the company's market value. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year's growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.
How Risky Is Gentian Diagnostics' Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Gentian Diagnostics' cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Although we do find its increasing cash burn to be a bit of a negative, once we consider the other metrics mentioned in this article together, the overall picture is one we are comfortable with. There's no doubt that shareholders can take a lot of heart from the fact that at least one analyst is forecasting it will reach breakeven before too long. 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 2 warning signs for Gentian Diagnostics 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 companies insiders are buying, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.