Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, although software-as-a-service business Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
So should Sego Resources (CVE:SGZ) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? For the purpose of this article, we'll define cash burn as the amount of cash the company is spending each year to fund its growth (also called its negative free cash flow). Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.
How Long Is Sego Resources's Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. In March 2020, Sego Resources had CA$398k in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was CA$506k over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of approximately 9 months from March 2020. 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.
How Is Sego Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Sego Resources isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage 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. We'd venture that the 65% reduction in cash burn over the last year shows that management are, at least, mindful of its ongoing need for cash. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Sego Resources due to its lack of significant operating revenues. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.
How Easily Can Sego Resources Raise Cash?
While we're comforted by the recent reduction evident from our analysis of Sego Resources's cash burn, it is still worth considering how easily the company could raise more funds, if it wanted to accelerate spending to drive growth. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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.
Sego Resources has a market capitalisation of CA$5.5m and burnt through CA$506k last year, which is 9.1% of the company's 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.
So, Should We Worry About Sego Resources's Cash Burn?
On this analysis of Sego Resources's cash burn, we think its cash burn reduction was reassuring, while its cash runway has us a bit worried. Even though we don't think it has a problem with its cash burn, the analysis we've done in this article does suggest that shareholders should give some careful thought to the potential cost of raising more money in the future. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 5 warning signs for Sego Resources (of which 3 can't be ignored!) you should know about.
If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt or this list of stocks which are all forecast to grow.
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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. 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. Thank you for reading.