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We Think Australian Whisky Holdings (ASX:AWY) Can Afford To Drive Business Growth

Simply Wall St

Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. 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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

So, the natural question for Australian Whisky Holdings (ASX:AWY) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of 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). First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

See our latest analysis for Australian Whisky Holdings

When Might Australian Whisky Holdings Run Out Of Money?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at June 2019, Australian Whisky Holdings had cash of AU$6.7m and such minimal debt that we can ignore it for the purposes of this analysis. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$5.3m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of approximately 15 months from June 2019. While that cash runway isn't too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

ASX:AWY Historical Debt, December 21st 2019

How Is Australian Whisky Holdings's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Although Australian Whisky Holdings had revenue of AU$4.6m in the last twelve months, its operating revenue was only AU$4.6m in that time period. Given how low that operating leverage is, we think it's too early to put much weight on the revenue growth, so we'll focus on how the cash burn is changing, instead. Even though it doesn't get us excited, the 37% reduction in cash burn year on year does suggest the company can continue operating for quite some time. In reality, this article only makes a short study of the company's growth data. You can take a look at how Australian Whisky Holdings is growing revenue over time by checking this visualization of past revenue growth.

How Easily Can Australian Whisky Holdings Raise Cash?

While Australian Whisky Holdings is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive 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.

Australian Whisky Holdings's cash burn of AU$5.3m is about 9.2% of its AU$57m market capitalisation. That's a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.

So, Should We Worry About Australian Whisky Holdings's Cash Burn?

Australian Whisky Holdings appears to be in pretty good health when it comes to its cash burn situation. One the one hand we have its solid cash burn reduction, while on the other it can also boast very strong cash burn relative to its market cap. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we're not too worried about its rate of cash burn. When you don't have traditional metrics like earnings per share and free cash flow to value a company, many are extra motivated to consider qualitative factors such as whether insiders are buying or selling shares. Please Note: Australian Whisky Holdings insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders 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.