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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 while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.
So, the natural question for International Tower Hill Mines (TSE:ITH) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
When Might International Tower Hill Mines Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2019, International Tower Hill Mines had cash of US$6.9m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$3.8m. That means it had a cash runway of around 22 months as of December 2019. While that cash runway isn't too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is International Tower Hill Mines's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
International Tower Hill Mines 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 5.6%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. International Tower Hill Mines makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.
How Easily Can International Tower Hill Mines Raise Cash?
While its cash burn is only increasing slightly, International Tower Hill Mines shareholders should still consider the potential need for further cash, down the track. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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).
Since it has a market capitalisation of US$79m, International Tower Hill Mines's US$3.8m in cash burn equates to about 4.8% of its market value. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year's growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.
How Risky Is International Tower Hill Mines's Cash Burn Situation?
On this analysis of International Tower Hill Mines's cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 3 warning signs for International Tower Hill Mines that readers should think about before committing capital to this stock.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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