Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About TrueCar's (NASDAQ:TRUE) Cash Burn Situation
There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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, the natural question for TrueCar (NASDAQ:TRUE) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of 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.
Check out our latest analysis for TrueCar
How Long Is TrueCar's Cash Runway?
A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. As at December 2022, TrueCar had cash of US$176m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$41m. So it had a cash runway of about 4.3 years from December 2022. There's no doubt that this is a reassuringly long runway. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
Is TrueCar's Revenue Growing?
Given that TrueCar actually had positive free cash flow last year, before burning cash this year, we'll focus on its operating revenue to get a measure of the business trajectory. Regrettably, the company's operating revenue moved in the wrong direction over the last twelve months, declining by 30%. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.
How Hard Would It Be For TrueCar To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Since its revenue growth is moving in the wrong direction, TrueCar shareholders may wish to think 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. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and 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).
TrueCar has a market capitalisation of US$200m and burnt through US$41m last year, which is 20% of the company's market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.
Is TrueCar's Cash Burn A Worry?
Even though its falling revenue makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought TrueCar's cash runway was relatively promising. 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 2 warning signs for TrueCar 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.
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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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