We’re Hopeful That SenzaGen (STO:SENZA) Will Use Its Cash Wisely

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

So, the natural question for SenzaGen (STO:SENZA) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. 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. First, we’ll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

View our latest analysis for SenzaGen

When Might SenzaGen Run Out Of Money?

A company’s cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2019, SenzaGen had cash of kr120m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was kr35m. So it had a cash runway of about 3.5 years from December 2019. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

OM:SENZA Historical Debt March 27th 2020
OM:SENZA Historical Debt March 27th 2020

How Is SenzaGen’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it’s great to see that SenzaGen has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced kr4.9m, 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 27%, 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. Admittedly, we’re a bit cautious of SenzaGen due to its lack of significant operating revenues. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.

How Easily Can SenzaGen Raise Cash?

While SenzaGen 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).

SenzaGen’s cash burn of kr35m is about 14% of its kr253m market capitalisation. Given that situation, it’s fair to say the company wouldn’t have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.

How Risky Is SenzaGen’s Cash Burn Situation?

As you can probably tell by now, we’re not too worried about SenzaGen’s cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. While its increasing cash burn wasn’t great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. Based on the factors mentioned in this article, we think its cash burn situation warrants some attention from shareholders, but we don’t think they should be worried. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 6 warning signs for SenzaGen (2 make us uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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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