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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. By way of example, Jumia Technologies (NYSE:JMIA) has seen its share price rise 128% over the last year, delighting many shareholders. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
So notwithstanding the buoyant share price, we think it's well worth asking whether Jumia Technologies' cash burn is too risky. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.
Does Jumia Technologies Have A Long 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 Jumia Technologies last reported its balance sheet in June 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$639m. Importantly, its cash burn was US$126m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of about 5.1 years from June 2021. Even though this is but one measure of the company's cash burn, the thought of such a long cash runway warms our bellies in a comforting way. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is Jumia Technologies Growing?
We reckon the fact that Jumia Technologies managed to shrink its cash burn by 25% over the last year is rather encouraging. Unfortunately, however, operating revenue declined by 3.3% during the period. Considering the factors above, the company doesn’t fare badly when it comes to assessing how it is changing over time. 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 Easily Can Jumia Technologies Raise Cash?
While Jumia Technologies 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. 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 and drive growth. By looking at a company's cash burn relative to its market capitalisation, we gain insight on how much shareholders would be diluted if the company needed to raise enough cash to cover another year's cash burn.
Jumia Technologies' cash burn of US$126m is about 6.8% of its US$1.9b market capitalisation. That's a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.
So, Should We Worry About Jumia Technologies' Cash Burn?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Jumia Technologies' cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While its falling revenue wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. Based on the factors mentioned in this article, we think its cash burn situation warrants some attention from shareholders, but we don't think they should be worried. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 3 warning signs for Jumia Technologies that readers should think about before committing capital to this stock.
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)
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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