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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
So should ENDRA Life Sciences (NASDAQ:NDRA) 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'. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
How Long Is ENDRA Life Sciences's Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When ENDRA Life Sciences last reported its balance sheet in June 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth US$2.3m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$7.7m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 4 months from June 2019. With a cash runway that short, we strongly believe that the company must raise cash or else douse its cash burn promptly. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is ENDRA Life Sciences's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because ENDRA Life Sciences isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage 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 23%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. 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 ENDRA Life Sciences To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Given its cash burn trajectory, ENDRA Life Sciences shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. 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).
ENDRA Life Sciences has a market capitalisation of US$8.1m and burnt through US$7.7m last year, which is 95% of the company's market value. Given just how high that expenditure is, relative to the company's market value, we think there's an elevated risk of funding distress, and we would be very nervous about holding the stock.
How Risky Is ENDRA Life Sciences's Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're rather concerned about ENDRA Life Sciences's cash burn. Take, for example, its cash burn relative to its market cap, which suggests the company may have difficulty funding itself, in the future. While not as bad as its cash burn relative to its market cap, its increasing cash burn is also a concern, and considering everything mentioned above, we're struggling to find much to be optimistic about. Looking at the metrics in this article all together, we consider its cash burn situation to be rather dangerous, and likely to cost shareholders one way or the other. Notably, our data indicates that ENDRA Life Sciences insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
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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. Thank you for reading.