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Here's Why We're Watching Shapeways Holdings' (NYSE:SHPW) Cash Burn Situation

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·4 min read
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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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Shapeways Holdings (NYSE:SHPW) shareholders should 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Shapeways Holdings

How Long Is Shapeways Holdings' 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. As at March 2022, Shapeways Holdings had cash of US$65m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$26m. Therefore, from March 2022 it had 2.5 years of cash runway. Notably, analysts forecast that Shapeways Holdings will break even (at a free cash flow level) in about 3 years. Essentially, that means the company will either reduce its cash burn, or else require more cash. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Well Is Shapeways Holdings Growing?

It was quite stunning to see that Shapeways Holdings increased its cash burn by 3,661% over the last year. On top of that, the fact that operating revenue was basically flat over the same period compounds the concern. In light of the above-mentioned, we're pretty wary of the trajectory the company seems to be on. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

How Hard Would It Be For Shapeways Holdings To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Shapeways Holdings seems to be in a fairly good position, in terms of cash burn, but we still think it's worthwhile considering how easily it could raise more money if it wanted to. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and 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.

Shapeways Holdings' cash burn of US$26m is about 32% of its US$82m 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.

So, Should We Worry About Shapeways Holdings' Cash Burn?

Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Shapeways Holdings' cash runway was relatively promising. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it will reach breakeven. 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 3 warning signs for Shapeways Holdings (1 shouldn't be ignored!) 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)

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.