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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 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 should CV Check (ASX:CV1) shareholders 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 CV Check Run Out Of Money?
A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. CV Check has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the AU$4.6m in cash it held at June 2020. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$1.5m. Therefore, from June 2020 it had 3.1 years of cash runway. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is CV Check Growing?
Notably, CV Check actually ramped up its cash burn very hard and fast in the last year, by 140%, signifying heavy investment in the business. On top of that, the fact that operating revenue was basically flat over the same period compounds the concern. Taken together, we think these growth metrics are a little worrying. In reality, this article only makes a short study of the company's growth data. This graph of historic earnings and revenue shows how CV Check is building its business over time.
Can CV Check Raise More Cash Easily?
CV Check seems to be in a fairly good position, in terms of cash burn, but we still think it's worthwhile considering how easily it could raise more money if it wanted to. 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.
CV Check has a market capitalisation of AU$28m and burnt through AU$1.5m last year, which is 5.3% of the company's market value. 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 CV Check's Cash Burn?
On this analysis of CV Check's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 2 warning signs for CV Check that readers should think about before committing capital to this stock.
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.
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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