Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
So should ikeGPS Group (NZSE:IKE) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? For the purposes of this article, cash burn is the annual rate at which an unprofitable company spends cash to fund its growth; its negative free cash flow. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
When Might ikeGPS Group 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. When ikeGPS Group last reported its balance sheet in September 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth NZ$2.2m. In the last year, its cash burn was NZ$3.1m. That means it had a cash runway of around 9 months as of September 2019. 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. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is ikeGPS Group Growing?
On balance, we think it's mildly positive that ikeGPS Group trimmed its cash burn by 6.5% over the last twelve months. Having said that, the flat operating revenue was a bit mundane. In light of the data above, we're fairly sanguine about the business growth trajectory. In reality, this article only makes a short study of the company's growth data. This graph of historic earnings and revenue shows how ikeGPS Group is building its business over time.
How Easily Can ikeGPS Group Raise Cash?
Since ikeGPS Group revenue has been falling, the market will likely be considering how it can raise more cash if need be. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to fund 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.
Since it has a market capitalisation of NZ$56m, ikeGPS Group's NZ$3.1m in cash burn equates to about 5.6% of its market value. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year's growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.
How Risky Is ikeGPS Group's Cash Burn Situation?
On this analysis of ikeGPS Group's cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its cash runway has us a bit worried. We don't think its cash burn is particularly problematic, but after considering the range of factors in this article, we do think shareholders should be monitoring how it changes over time. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 4 warning signs for ikeGPS Group (1 is potentially serious!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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)
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