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We're Not Worried About Mitcham Industries's (NASDAQ:MIND) Cash Burn

Simply Wall St

There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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. 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 Mitcham Industries (NASDAQ:MIND) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.

Check out our latest analysis for Mitcham Industries

When Might Mitcham Industries Run Out Of Money?

You can calculate a company's cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. In July 2019, Mitcham Industries had US$7.5m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$565k. So it had a very long cash runway of many years from July 2019. Importantly, though, the one analyst we see covering the stock thinks that Mitcham Industries will reach cashflow breakeven before then. In that case, it may never reach the end of its cash runway. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

NasdaqGS:MIND Historical Debt, October 22nd 2019

How Well Is Mitcham Industries Growing?

Mitcham Industries managed to reduce its cash burn by 93% over the last twelve months, which is extremely promising, when it comes to considering its need for cash. Pleasingly, this was achieved with the help of a 31% boost to revenue. Considering these factors, we're fairly impressed by its growth trajectory. 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 Mitcham Industries Raise Cash?

There's no doubt Mitcham Industries seems to be in a fairly good position, when it comes to managing its cash burn, but even if it's only hypothetical, it's always worth asking how easily it could raise more money to fund growth. 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. 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).

Mitcham Industries has a market capitalisation of US$30m and burnt through US$565k last year, which is 1.9% 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.

How Risky Is Mitcham Industries's Cash Burn Situation?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Mitcham Industries's cash burn. In particular, we think its cash burn reduction stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. And even its revenue growth was very encouraging. It's clearly very positive to see that at least one analyst is forecasting the company will break even fairly soon After considering a range of factors in this article, we're pretty relaxed about its cash burn, since the company seems to be in a good position to continue to fund its growth. Notably, our data indicates that Mitcham Industries insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

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.

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.