There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. Indeed, Fenix Resources (ASX:FEX) stock is up 175% in the last year, providing strong gains for shareholders. 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.
Given its strong share price performance, we think it's worthwhile for Fenix Resources shareholders to consider whether its cash burn is concerning. 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. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
How Long Is Fenix Resources' Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When Fenix Resources last reported its balance sheet in December 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth AU$2.2m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$3.2m. That means it had a cash runway of around 8 months as of December 2019. Importantly, the one analyst we see covering the stock thinks that Fenix Resources will reach cashflow breakeven in 3 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is Fenix Resources' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Fenix Resources 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 36% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.
How Easily Can Fenix Resources Raise Cash?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Fenix Resources shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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 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.
Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$54m, Fenix Resources' AU$3.2m in cash burn equates to about 5.9% of its 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.
Is Fenix Resources' Cash Burn A Worry?
On this analysis of Fenix Resources' cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its cash runway has us a bit worried. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that at least one analyst is forecasting it will reach breakeven. Even though we don't think it has a problem with its cash burn, the analysis we've done in this article does suggest that shareholders should give some careful thought to the potential cost of raising more money in the future. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for Fenix Resources (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.