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We're Hopeful That Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) Will Use Its Cash Wisely

We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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.

So, the natural question for Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for Aspire Mining

Does Aspire Mining Have A Long Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2021, Aspire Mining had cash of AU$33m and such minimal debt that we can ignore it for the purposes of this analysis. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$3.6m. So it had a cash runway of about 9.0 years from December 2021. While this is only one measure of its cash burn situation, it certainly gives us the impression that holders have nothing to worry about. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Is Aspire Mining's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Aspire Mining 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. With the cash burn rate up 26% 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. Aspire Mining makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.

How Easily Can Aspire Mining Raise Cash?

While Aspire Mining does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. 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. By comparing a company's annual cash burn to its total market capitalisation, we can estimate roughly how many shares it would have to issue in order to run the company for another year (at the same burn rate).

Aspire Mining has a market capitalisation of AU$45m and burnt through AU$3.6m last year, which is 8.1% 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 Aspire Mining's Cash Burn Situation?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Aspire Mining's cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While its increasing cash burn wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we're pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash, as it seems on track to meet its needs over the medium term. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 2 warning signs for Aspire Mining (of which 1 is a bit concerning!) you should know about.

If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt or this list of stocks which are all forecast to grow.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.