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Will Cann Group (ASX:CAN) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

Simply Wall St

We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

So should Cann Group (ASX:CAN) shareholders 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'. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

View our latest analysis for Cann Group

How Long Is Cann Group's 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. Cann Group has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the AU$46m in cash it held at June 2019. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$33m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of around 17 months as of June 2019. Importantly, analysts think that Cann Group will reach cashflow breakeven in 3 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

ASX:CAN Historical Debt, October 22nd 2019

How Is Cann Group's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Although Cann Group had revenue of AU$2.6m in the last twelve months, its operating revenue was only AU$2.3m in that time period. We don't think that's enough operating revenue for us to understand too much from revenue growth rates, since the company is growing off a low base. So we'll focus on the cash burn, today. Remarkably, it actually increased its cash burn by 251% in the last year. With that kind of spending growth its cash runway will shorten quickly, as it simultaneously uses its cash while increasing the burn rate. 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 Cann Group Raise More Cash Easily?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Cann Group shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. 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.

Cann Group's cash burn of AU$33m is about 18% of its AU$186m 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 Cann Group's Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Cann Group's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it will reach breakeven. Even though we don't think it has a problem with its cash burn, the analysis we've done in this article does suggest that shareholders should give some careful thought to the potential cost of raising more money in the future. Notably, our data indicates that Cann Group insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

Of course Cann Group may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

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.