Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether BSQUARE (NASDAQ:BSQR) shareholders should be worried about its cash burn. In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
When Might BSQUARE Run Out Of Money?
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. In March 2023, BSQUARE had US$34m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was US$5.2m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of about 6.5 years as of March 2023. 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. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is BSQUARE Growing?
BSQUARE boosted investment sharply in the last year, with cash burn ramping by 84%. While that's concerning on it's own, the fact that operating revenue was actually down 13% over the same period makes us positively tremulous. Taken together, we think these growth metrics are a little worrying. Of course, we've only taken a quick look at the stock's growth metrics, here. This graph of historic earnings and revenue shows how BSQUARE is building its business over time.
How Easily Can BSQUARE Raise Cash?
While BSQUARE seems to be in a fairly good position, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
BSQUARE's cash burn of US$5.2m is about 21% of its US$25m market capitalisation. 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.
How Risky Is BSQUARE's Cash Burn Situation?
Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought BSQUARE's cash runway was relatively promising. While we're the kind of investors who are always a bit concerned about the risks involved with cash burning companies, the metrics we have discussed in this article leave us relatively comfortable about BSQUARE's situation. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 1 warning sign for BSQUARE 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.
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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