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Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Data I/O (NASDAQ:DAIO) shareholders should be worried about its 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
When Might Data I/O 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. As at December 2020, Data I/O had cash of US$14m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$229k. So it had a very long cash runway of many years from December 2020. While this is only one measure of its cash burn situation, it certainly gives us the impression that holders have nothing to worry about. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is Data I/O Growing?
Data I/O managed to reduce its cash burn by 91% over the last twelve months, which is extremely promising, when it comes to considering its need for cash. But it was a bit disconcerting to see operating revenue down 5.7% in that time. We think it is growing rather well, upon reflection. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.
Can Data I/O Raise More Cash Easily?
While Data I/O seems to be in a decent position, we reckon it is still worth thinking about how easily it could raise more cash, if that proved desirable. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
Since it has a market capitalisation of US$46m, Data I/O's US$229k in cash burn equates to about 0.5% of its market value. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.
So, Should We Worry About Data I/O's Cash Burn?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Data I/O is burning through its cash. In particular, we think its cash burn reduction stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While its falling revenue wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. Taking all the factors in this report into account, we're not at all worried about its cash burn, as the business appears well capitalized to spend as needs be. Its important for readers to be cognizant of the risks that can affect the company's operations, and we've picked out 2 warning signs for Data I/O that investors should know when investing in the stock.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies, 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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