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We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. Indeed, 01 Communique Laboratory (CVE:ONE) stock is up 218% 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 01 Communique Laboratory shareholders to consider whether its cash burn is concerning. 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'.
How Long Is 01 Communique Laboratory's Cash Runway?
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. 01 Communique Laboratory has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the CA$1.0m in cash it held at October 2020. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$581k. So it had a cash runway of approximately 21 months from October 2020. 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. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is 01 Communique Laboratory's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Whilst it's great to see that 01 Communique Laboratory has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced CA$522k, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we'll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. With cash burn dropping by 8.8% it seems management feel the company is spending enough to advance its business plans at an appropriate pace. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of 01 Communique Laboratory due to its lack of significant operating revenues. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.
How Hard Would It Be For 01 Communique Laboratory To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Even though it has reduced its cash burn recently, shareholders should still consider how easy it would be for 01 Communique Laboratory to raise more cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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).
01 Communique Laboratory has a market capitalisation of CA$33m and burnt through CA$581k last year, which is 1.8% of the company's 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.
Is 01 Communique Laboratory's Cash Burn A Worry?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way 01 Communique Laboratory is burning through its cash. In particular, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Its weak point is its cash burn reduction, but even that wasn't too bad! Based on the factors mentioned in this article, we think its cash burn situation warrants some attention from shareholders, but we don't think they should be worried. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 5 warning signs for 01 Communique Laboratory (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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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