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We're Keeping An Eye On Harvest One Cannabis's (CVE:HVT) Cash Burn Rate

Simply Wall St

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, although software-as-a-service business Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. 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 Harvest One Cannabis (CVE:HVT) shareholders should be worried about its cash burn. For the purposes of this article, cash burn is the annual rate at which an unprofitable company spends cash to fund its growth; its negative free cash flow. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

Check out our latest analysis for Harvest One Cannabis

When Might Harvest One Cannabis Run Out Of Money?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at March 2019, Harvest One Cannabis had cash of CA$31m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was CA$27m. That means it had a cash runway of around 14 months as of March 2019. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

TSXV:HVT Historical Debt, October 21st 2019

How Is Harvest One Cannabis's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Although Harvest One Cannabis had revenue of CA$9.0m in the last twelve months, its operating revenue was only CA$9.0m in that time period. We don't think that's enough operating revenue for us to understand too much from revenue growth rates, since the company is growing off a low base. So we'll focus on the cash burn, today. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 120%. It's fair to say that sort of rate of increase cannot be maintained for very long, without putting pressure on the balance sheet. 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.

How Easily Can Harvest One Cannabis Raise Cash?

While Harvest One Cannabis 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. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to 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.

Harvest One Cannabis has a market capitalisation of CA$94m and burnt through CA$27m last year, which is 29% of the company's market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

How Risky Is Harvest One Cannabis's Cash Burn Situation?

On this analysis of Harvest One Cannabis's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Looking at the factors mentioned in this short report, we do think that its cash burn is a bit risky, and it does make us slightly nervous about the stock. Notably, our data indicates that Harvest One Cannabis insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

Of course Harvest One Cannabis may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.