We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. Indeed, EHR Resources (ASX:EHX) stock is up 230% 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?
Given its strong share price performance, we think it's worthwhile for EHR Resources shareholders to consider whether its cash burn is concerning. 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.
How Long Is EHR Resources's 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. When EHR Resources last reported its balance sheet in December 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$2.2m. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$506k over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from December 2019 it had 4.4 years of cash runway. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is EHR Resources's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
EHR 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. The 81% reduction in its cash burn over the last twelve months may be good for protecting the balance sheet but it hardly points to imminent growth. EHR Resources 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.
Can EHR Resources Raise More Cash Easily?
While we're comforted by the recent reduction evident from our analysis of EHR Resources's cash burn, it is still worth considering how easily the company could raise more funds, if it wanted to accelerate spending to drive growth. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
EHR Resources has a market capitalisation of AU$11m and burnt through AU$506k last year, which is 4.5% 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.
So, Should We Worry About EHR Resources's Cash Burn?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way EHR Resources is burning through its cash. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. And even its cash burn relative to its market cap was very encouraging. After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we're pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash. On another note, EHR Resources has 5 warning signs (and 2 which don't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.
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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