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Will Jindalee Resources (ASX:JRL) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

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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 Jindalee Resources (ASX:JRL) 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.

See our latest analysis for Jindalee Resources

How Long Is Jindalee Resources's 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. In June 2019, Jindalee Resources had AU$908k in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$1.5m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 7 months from June 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. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

ASX:JRL Historical Debt, September 27th 2019
ASX:JRL Historical Debt, September 27th 2019

How Is Jindalee Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it's great to see that Jindalee Resources has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced AU$32k, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we'll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. With the cash burn rate up 19% 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. Jindalee Resources makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.

Can Jindalee Resources Raise More Cash Easily?

Since its cash burn is moving in the wrong direction, Jindalee Resources 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 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$9.6m, Jindalee Resources's AU$1.5m in cash burn equates to about 15% of its market value. Given that situation, it's fair to say the company wouldn't have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.

Is Jindalee Resources's Cash Burn A Worry?

Even though its cash runway makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Jindalee Resources's cash burn relative to its market cap was relatively promising. Looking at the factors mentioned in this short report, we do think that its cash burn is a bit risky, and it does make us slightly nervous about the stock. Notably, our data indicates that Jindalee Resources insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

Of course Jindalee Resources may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

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.