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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 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. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
So should Berkeley Energia (ASX:BKY) shareholders 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
Does Berkeley Energia Have A Long 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. In December 2021, Berkeley Energia had AU$79m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$5.4m. So it had a very long cash runway of many years from December 2021. Even though this is but one measure of the company's cash burn, the thought of such a long cash runway warms our bellies in a comforting way. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is Berkeley Energia's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Although Berkeley Energia reported revenue of AU$7.0k last year, it didn't actually have any revenue from operations. To us, that makes it a pre-revenue company, so we'll look to its cash burn trajectory as an assessment of its cash burn situation. As it happens, the company's cash burn reduced by 11% over the last year, which suggests that management are maintaining a fairly steady rate of business development, albeit with a slight decrease in spending. Berkeley Energia makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.
How Hard Would It Be For Berkeley Energia 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 Berkeley Energia to raise more cash in the future. 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. 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).
Berkeley Energia has a market capitalisation of AU$149m and burnt through AU$5.4m last year, which is 3.6% of the company's market value. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year's growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.
How Risky Is Berkeley Energia's Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Berkeley Energia's cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway 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! After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we're pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash, as it seems on track to meet its needs over the medium term. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for Berkeley Energia (of which 3 shouldn't be ignored!) you should know about.
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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.