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Can Visiomed Group (EPA:ALVMG) Afford To Invest In 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 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 while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.

So, the natural question for Visiomed Group (EPA:ALVMG) 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.

View our latest analysis for Visiomed Group

When Might Visiomed Group Run Out Of Money?

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. Visiomed Group has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the €1.6m in cash it held at June 2019. In the last year, its cash burn was €18m. Therefore, from June 2019 it seems to us it had less than two months of cash runway. 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.

ENXTPA:ALVMG Historical Debt, February 9th 2020

How Well Is Visiomed Group Growing?

Some investors might find it troubling that Visiomed Group is actually increasing its cash burn, which is up 13% in the last year. The good news is that operating revenue increased by 23% in the last year, indicating that the business is gaining some traction. Considering the factors above, the company doesn’t fare badly when it comes to assessing how it is changing over time. In reality, this article only makes a short study of the company's growth data. You can take a look at how Visiomed Group has developed its business over time by checking this visualization of its revenue and earnings history.

Can Visiomed Group Raise More Cash Easily?

Given the trajectory of Visiomed Group's cash burn, many investors will already be thinking about how it might raise more cash in the future. 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 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.

Visiomed Group's cash burn of €18m is about 117% of its €15m market capitalisation. That suggests the company may have some funding difficulties, and we'd be very wary of the stock.

How Risky Is Visiomed Group's Cash Burn Situation?

As you can probably tell by now, we're rather concerned about Visiomed Group's cash burn. Take, for example, its cash runway, which suggests the company may have difficulty funding itself, in the future. On the other hand at least it could boast rather strong revenue growth, which no doubt gives shareholders some comfort. After considering the data discussed in this article, we don't have a lot of confidence that its cash burn rate is prudent, as it seems like it might need more cash soon. We think it's very important to consider the cash burn for loss making companies, but other considerations such as the amount the CEO is paid can also enhance your understanding of the business. You can click here to see what Visiomed Group's CEO gets paid each year.

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)

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.

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