U.S. Markets closed

Will Auryn Resources (TSE:AUG) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

Simply Wall St

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 the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Auryn Resources (TSE:AUG) shareholders should be worried about its cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

View our latest analysis for Auryn Resources

When Might Auryn Resources Run Out Of Money?

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. When Auryn Resources last reported its balance sheet in June 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth CA$2.4m. In the last year, its cash burn was CA$16m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 2 months from June 2019. To be frank we are alarmed by how short that cash runway is! You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

TSX:AUG Historical Debt, October 11th 2019

How Is Auryn Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Auryn Resources 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. Given the length of the cash runway, we'd interpret the 54% reduction in cash burn, in twelve months, as prudent if not necessary for capital preservation. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

Can Auryn Resources Raise More Cash Easily?

While we're comforted by the recent reduction evident from our analysis of Auryn Resources's cash burn, it is still worth considering how easily the company could raise more funds, if it wanted to accelerate spending to drive growth. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of CA$156m, Auryn Resources's CA$16m in cash burn equates to about 10% of its market value. 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 Auryn Resources's Cash Burn?

Even though its cash runway makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Auryn Resources's cash burn reduction was relatively promising. Considering all the measures mentioned in this report, we reckon that its cash burn is fairly risky, and if we held shares we'd be watching like a hawk for any deterioration. While it's important to consider hard data like the metrics discussed above, many investors would also be interested to note that Auryn Resources insiders have been trading shares in the company. Click here to find out if they have been buying or selling.

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.

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 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. Thank you for reading.