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Will Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX:CLQ) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

Simply Wall St

Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. 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. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So, the natural question for Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX:CLQ) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. For the purpose of this article, we'll define cash burn as the amount of cash the company is spending each year to fund its growth (also called its negative free cash flow). The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

View our latest analysis for Clean TeQ Holdings

Does Clean TeQ Holdings Have A Long Cash Runway?

A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. Clean TeQ Holdings has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the AU$40m in cash it held at June 2020. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$39m. That means it had a cash runway of around 12 months as of June 2020. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.


How Is Clean TeQ Holdings' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

In the last year, Clean TeQ Holdings did book revenue of AU$2.1m, but its revenue from operations was less, at just AU$1.2m. 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. While it hardly paints a picture of imminent growth, the fact that it has reduced its cash burn by 45% over the last year suggests some degree of prudence. 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.

How Hard Would It Be For Clean TeQ Holdings To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Even though it has reduced its cash burn recently, shareholders should still consider how easy it would be for Clean TeQ Holdings to raise more cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future growth. By comparing a company's annual cash burn to its total market capitalisation, we can estimate roughly how many shares it would have to issue in order to run the company for another year (at the same burn rate).

Clean TeQ Holdings' cash burn of AU$39m is about 36% of its AU$108m market capitalisation. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

Is Clean TeQ Holdings' Cash Burn A Worry?

Even though its cash burn relative to its market cap makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Clean TeQ Holdings' cash burn reduction was relatively promising. 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. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 5 warning signs for Clean TeQ Holdings you should be aware of, and 2 of them are significant.

Of course Clean TeQ Holdings 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.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.