We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
So should Tajiri Resources (CVE:TAJ) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? For the purposes of this article, cash burn is the annual rate at which an unprofitable company spends cash to fund its growth; its negative free cash flow. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.
How Long Is Tajiri 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. As at July 2019, Tajiri Resources had cash of CA$110k and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$1.3m. That means it had a cash runway of under two months as of July 2019. To be frank we are alarmed by how short that cash runway is! Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is Tajiri Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Tajiri Resources didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. With the cash burn rate up 25% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Tajiri 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 Hard Would It Be For Tajiri Resources To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Tajiri Resources shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. 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. We can compare a company's cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year's operations.
Since it has a market capitalisation of CA$3.5m, Tajiri Resources's CA$1.3m in cash burn equates to about 36% of its market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.
So, Should We Worry About Tajiri Resources's Cash Burn?
There are no prizes for guessing that we think Tajiri Resources's cash burn is a bit of a worry. Take, for example, its cash runway, which suggests the company may have difficulty funding itself, in the future. And although we accept its increasing cash burn wasn't as worrying as its cash runway, it was still a real negative; as indeed were all the factors we considered in this article. The measures we've considered in this article lead us to believe its cash burn is actually quite concerning, and its weak cash position seems likely to cost shareholders one way or another. For us, it's always important to consider risks around cash burn rates. But investors should look at a whole range of factors when researching a new stock. For example, it could be interesting to see how much the Tajiri Resources CEO receives in total remuneration.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies insiders are buying, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
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