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Here's Why We're Watching Co-Diagnostics's (NASDAQ:CODX) Cash Burn Situation

Simply Wall St

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. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

So should Co-Diagnostics (NASDAQ:CODX) shareholders 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Co-Diagnostics

When Might Co-Diagnostics 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 June 2019, Co-Diagnostics had US$3.9m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$4.9m. That means it had a cash runway of around 9 months as of June 2019. That's quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

NasdaqCM:CODX Historical Debt, October 22nd 2019

How Is Co-Diagnostics's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it's great to see that Co-Diagnostics has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced US$85k, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. With the cash burn rate up 8.7% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.

Can Co-Diagnostics Raise More Cash Easily?

Since its cash burn is increasing (albeit only slightly), Co-Diagnostics shareholders should still be mindful of the possibility it will require more cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to 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.

Co-Diagnostics's cash burn of US$4.9m is about 27% of its US$18m market capitalisation. 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.

How Risky Is Co-Diagnostics's Cash Burn Situation?

Co-Diagnostics is not in a great position when it comes to its cash burn situation. While its increasing cash burn wasn't too bad, its cash runway does leave us rather nervous. Summing up, we think the Co-Diagnostics's cash burn is a risk, based on the factors we mentioned in this article. We think it's very important to consider the cash burn for loss making companies, but other considerations such as the amount the CEO is paid can also enhance your understanding of the business. You can click here to see what Co-Diagnostics's CEO gets paid each year.

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.