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Will GTI Resources (ASX:GTR) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

Simply Wall St

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So should GTI Resources (ASX:GTR) 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'. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

View our latest analysis for GTI Resources

How Long Is GTI Resources's Cash Runway?

You can calculate a company's cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. When GTI Resources last reported its balance sheet in December 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$1.3m. In the last year, its cash burn was AU$1.1m. Therefore, from December 2019 it had roughly 14 months of cash runway. 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. Importantly, if we extrapolate recent cash burn trends, the cash runway would be noticeably longer. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

ASX:GTR Historical Debt April 6th 2020

How Is GTI Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it's great to see that GTI Resources has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced AU$687k, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we'll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 164%. That sort of spending growth rate can't continue for very long before it causes balance sheet weakness, generally speaking. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of GTI Resources due to its lack of significant operating revenues. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.

How Easily Can GTI Resources Raise Cash?

While GTI Resources does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to fund 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 AU$2.3m, GTI Resources's AU$1.1m in cash burn equates to about 48% of its market value. From this perspective, it seems that the company spent a huge amount relative to its market value, and we'd be very wary of a painful capital raising.

How Risky Is GTI Resources's Cash Burn Situation?

On this analysis of GTI Resources's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Considering all the measures mentioned in this report, we reckon that its cash burn is fairly risky, and if we held shares we'd be watching like a hawk for any deterioration. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 5 warning signs for GTI Resources you should be aware of, and 3 of them are significant.

Of course GTI Resources 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.