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Here's Why Nuheara (ASX:NUH) Must Use Its Cash Wisely

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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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

So, the natural question for Nuheara (ASX:NUH) 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'.

See our latest analysis for Nuheara

How Long Is Nuheara's Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. When Nuheara last reported its balance sheet in December 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$6.3m. In the last year, its cash burn was AU$11m. That means it had a cash runway of around 7 months as of December 2021. To be frank, this kind of short runway puts us on edge, as it indicates the company must reduce its cash burn significantly, or else raise cash imminently. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Well Is Nuheara Growing?

Some investors might find it troubling that Nuheara is actually increasing its cash burn, which is up 48% in the last year. And we must say we find it concerning that operating revenue dropped 6.6% over the same period. Considering both these metrics, we're a little concerned about how the company is developing. In reality, this article only makes a short study of the company's growth data. This graph of historic earnings and revenue shows how Nuheara is building its business over time.

How Hard Would It Be For Nuheara To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Since Nuheara can't yet boast improving growth metrics, the market will likely be considering how it can raise more cash if need be. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and 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$31m, Nuheara's AU$11m in cash burn equates to about 37% of its market value. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.

Is Nuheara's Cash Burn A Worry?

We must admit that we don't think Nuheara is in a very strong position, when it comes to its cash burn. Although we can understand if some shareholders find its falling revenue acceptable, we can't ignore the fact that we consider its cash runway to be downright troublesome. After looking at that range of measures, we think shareholders should be extremely attentive to how the company is using its cash, as the cash burn makes us uncomfortable. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 6 warning signs for Nuheara (of which 3 are a bit concerning!) you should know about.

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)

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

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