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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. Indeed, Sihayo Gold (ASX:SIH) stock is up 250% in the last year, providing strong gains for shareholders. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
In light of its strong share price run, we think now is a good time to investigate how risky Sihayo Gold's cash burn is. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
Does Sihayo Gold Have A Long 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 December 2020, Sihayo Gold had cash of AU$18m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$11m. That means it had a cash runway of around 19 months as of December 2020. Importantly, the one analyst we see covering the stock thinks that Sihayo Gold will reach cashflow breakeven in 3 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is Sihayo Gold's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Sihayo Gold 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by a very significant 65%. While this spending increase is no doubt intended to drive growth, if the trend continues the company's cash runway will shrink very quickly. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
Can Sihayo Gold Raise More Cash Easily?
While Sihayo Gold does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking 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. 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 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).
Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$52m, Sihayo Gold's AU$11m in cash burn equates to about 21% of its market value. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.
Is Sihayo Gold's Cash Burn A Worry?
On this analysis of Sihayo Gold's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that at least one analyst is 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 Sihayo Gold (1 is a bit unpleasant!) 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)
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.
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