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Will Oroco Resource (CVE:OCO) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

Simply Wall St

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, Oroco Resource (CVE:OCO) shareholders have done very well over the last year, with the share price soaring by 139%. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

In light of its strong share price run, we think now is a good time to investigate how risky Oroco Resource's cash burn is. 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. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.

View our latest analysis for Oroco Resource

Does Oroco Resource Have A Long Cash Runway?

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 Oroco Resource last reported its balance sheet in August 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth CA$566k. Importantly, its cash burn was CA$2.0m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of approximately 3 months from August 2019. With a cash runway that short, we strongly believe that the company must raise cash or else douse its cash burn promptly. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

TSXV:OCO Historical Debt, January 10th 2020

How Is Oroco Resource's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Oroco Resource didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. So while we can't look to sales to understand growth, we can look at how the cash burn is changing to understand how expenditure is trending over time. During the last twelve months, its cash burn actually ramped up 73%. While this spending increase is no doubt intended to drive growth, if the trend continues the company's cash runway will shrink very quickly. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Oroco Resource due to its lack of significant operating revenues. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.

Can Oroco Resource Raise More Cash Easily?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Oroco Resource shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future growth. By comparing a company's annual cash burn to its total market capitalisation, we can estimate roughly how many shares it would have to issue in order to run the company for another year (at the same burn rate).

Oroco Resource's cash burn of CA$2.0m is about 3.8% of its CA$51m market capitalisation. 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.

Is Oroco Resource's Cash Burn A Worry?

On this analysis of Oroco Resource's cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its cash runway has us a bit worried. Considering all the measures mentioned in this report, we reckon that its cash burn is fairly risky, and if we held shares we'd be watching like a hawk for any deterioration. While it's important to consider hard data like the metrics discussed above, many investors would also be interested to note that Oroco Resource insiders have been trading shares in the company. Click here to find out if they have been buying or selling.

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)

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.

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. Thank you for reading.