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When Will Loss-Maker Aemetis Inc (AMTX) Need More Cash?

Saundra Reilly

Aemetis Inc (NASDAQ:AMTX) announced a loss of -$20.05M in its most recent earnings update. Although some investors expected this, their belief in the path to profitability for AMTX may be wavering. A crucial question to bear in mind when you’re an investor of an unprofitable business, is whether the company will have to raise more capital in the near future. Today I’ve examined AMTX’s financial data to roughly assess when the company may need to raise new capital. Check out our latest analysis for Aemetis

What is cash burn?

AMTX currently has $0.67M in the bank, with negative cash flows from operations of -$3.57M. Companies with high cash burn rates can eventually turn into ashes, which makes it the biggest risk an investor in loss-making companies face. Unprofitable companies operating in the highly risky energy industry often face this problem, and AMTX is no exception. The activities of these companies tend to be project-driven, which generates lumpy cash flows, meaning the business can be loss-making for a period of time while it invests heavily in a new project.

NasdaqGM:AMTX Income Statement Oct 5th 17

When will AMTX need to raise more cash?

In AMTX’s case, its opex fell by 2.59% last year, which may signal the company moving towards a more sustainable level of expenses. However, this cost-reduction initiative is still not enough. Given the level of cash left in the bank, if AMTX maintained its opex level of $13M, it will still run out of cash within the next couples of months. Even though this is analysis is fairly basic, and AMTX still can cut its overhead further, or raise debt capital instead of coming to equity markets, the outcome of this analysis still gives us an idea of the company’s timeline and when things will have to start changing, since its current operation is unsustainable.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? You now have a better understanding of the risks you may face holding onto the stock, since we know the company could potentially run into some issues in the next couple of months. In addition to this analysis, I suggest you take a look at their expected revenue growth to determine the timing of future profitability as well.

Are you a potential investor? Loss-making companies are a risky play, even those that are reducing their opex over time. Though, this shouldn’t discourage you from considering entering the stock in the future. The cash burn analysis result indicates a cash constraint for AMTX, due to its current level of cash reserves. The potential equity raising resulting from this means you could potentially get a better deal on the share price when the company raises capital next.

An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – have a peek at AMTX’s CEO experience and the tenure of the board here. If risky loss-making stocks do not appeal to you, see my list of highly profitable companies to add to your portfolio..

To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.