U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 50 mins

Companies Like Genetic Signatures (ASX:GSS) Are In A Position To Invest In Growth

Simply Wall St

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So, the natural question for Genetic Signatures (ASX:GSS) 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). Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for Genetic Signatures

When Might Genetic Signatures Run Out Of Money?

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. As at June 2019, Genetic Signatures had cash of AU$6.3m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$2.9m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2019 it had 2.2 years of cash runway. Arguably, that's a prudent and sensible length of runway to have. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

ASX:GSS Historical Debt, September 23rd 2019

How Well Is Genetic Signatures Growing?

It was fairly positive to see that Genetic Signatures reduced its cash burn by 32% during the last year. And arguably the operating revenue growth of 71% was even more impressive. We think it is growing rather well, upon reflection. In reality, this article only makes a short study of the company's growth data. You can take a look at how Genetic Signatures is growing revenue over time by checking this visualization of past revenue growth.

How Easily Can Genetic Signatures Raise Cash?

While Genetic Signatures seems to be in a decent position, we reckon it is still worth thinking about how easily it could raise more cash, if that proved desirable. 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 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).

Genetic Signatures has a market capitalisation of AU$126m and burnt through AU$2.9m last year, which is 2.3% of the company's market value. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.

So, Should We Worry About Genetic Signatures's Cash Burn?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Genetic Signatures's cash burn. In particular, we think its revenue growth stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Its cash burn reduction wasn't quite as good, but was still rather encouraging! 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. When you don't have traditional metrics like earnings per share and free cash flow to value a company, many are extra motivated to consider qualitative factors such as whether insiders are buying or selling shares. Please Note: Genetic Signatures insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders have been buying or selling.

If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this freelist 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.