There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 should ENDRA Life Sciences (NASDAQ:NDRA) shareholders 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'.
Does ENDRA Life Sciences Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. ENDRA Life Sciences has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the US$12m in cash it held at September 2021. In the last year, its cash burn was US$11m. Therefore, from September 2021 it had roughly 13 months of cash runway. 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. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is ENDRA Life Sciences' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
ENDRA Life Sciences didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. So while we can't look to sales to understand growth, we can look at how the cash burn is changing to understand how expenditure is trending over time. It seems likely that the business is content with its current spending, as the cash burn rate stayed steady over the last twelve months. 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 ENDRA Life Sciences Raise More Cash Easily?
Since its cash burn is increasing (albeit only slightly), ENDRA Life Sciences shareholders should still be mindful of the possibility it will require more cash in the future. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive growth. We can compare a company's cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year's operations.
ENDRA Life Sciences' cash burn of US$11m is about 22% of its US$49m market capitalisation. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.
So, Should We Worry About ENDRA Life Sciences' Cash Burn?
Even though its cash burn relative to its market cap makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought ENDRA Life Sciences' cash runway was relatively promising. We don't think its cash burn is particularly problematic, but after considering the range of factors in this article, we do think shareholders should be monitoring how it changes over time. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 6 warning signs for ENDRA Life Sciences (of which 2 don't sit too well with us!) you should know about.
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)
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.
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