There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 Wrap Technologies (NASDAQ:WRAP) 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
How Long Is Wrap Technologies' Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In December 2021, Wrap Technologies had US$35m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$20m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 21 months from December 2021. 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. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is Wrap Technologies Growing?
Wrap Technologies boosted investment sharply in the last year, with cash burn ramping by 54%. While that isa little concerning at a glance, the company has a track record of recent growth, evidenced by the impressive 91% growth in revenue, over the very same year. Considering the factors above, the company doesn’t fare badly when it comes to assessing how it is changing over time. 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.
How Hard Would It Be For Wrap Technologies To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Wrap Technologies seems to be in a fairly good position, in terms of cash burn, but we still think it's worthwhile considering how easily it could raise more money if it wanted to. 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 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.
Wrap Technologies' cash burn of US$20m is about 20% of its US$103m 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.
So, Should We Worry About Wrap Technologies' Cash Burn?
Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Wrap Technologies' revenue growth was relatively promising. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we're not too worried about its rate of cash burn. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 3 warning signs for Wrap Technologies that readers should think about before committing capital to this stock.
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.
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.