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Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether NextSource Materials (TSE:NEXT) shareholders should 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). We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
When Might NextSource Materials Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at September 2020, NextSource Materials had cash of US$1.0m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$1.6m. That means it had a cash runway of around 8 months as of September 2020. That's quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is NextSource Materials' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
NextSource Materials 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. Given the length of the cash runway, we'd interpret the 24% reduction in cash burn, in twelve months, as prudent if not necessary for capital preservation. NextSource Materials makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.
How Easily Can NextSource Materials Raise Cash?
While NextSource Materials 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. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and 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.
NextSource Materials has a market capitalisation of US$37m and burnt through US$1.6m last year, which is 4.4% 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.
How Risky Is NextSource Materials' Cash Burn Situation?
Even though its cash runway makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought NextSource Materials' cash burn relative to its market cap was relatively promising. 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. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 4 warning signs for NextSource Materials you should be aware of, and 1 of them is significant.
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)
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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