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?
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Altitude Group (LON:ALT) shareholders should 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. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.
When Might Altitude Group Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In June 2019, Altitude Group had UK£3.5m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was UK£3.0m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of around 14 months as of June 2019. Importantly, though, the one analyst we see covering the stock thinks that Altitude Group will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is Altitude Group Growing?
At first glance it's a bit worrying to see that Altitude Group actually boosted its cash burn by 25%, year on year. At least the revenue was up 19% during the period, even if it wasn't up by much. 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. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
Can Altitude Group Raise More Cash Easily?
Altitude Group 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. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive 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.
Altitude Group's cash burn of UK£3.0m is about 8.7% of its UK£35m market capitalisation. That's a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.
So, Should We Worry About Altitude Group's Cash Burn?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Altitude Group's cash burn. In particular, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While its increasing cash burn wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. 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. Looking at all the measures in this article, together, we're not worried about its rate of cash burn; the company seems well on top of its medium-term spending needs. Notably, our data indicates that Altitude Group insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.
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)
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Thank you for reading.