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Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About S2 Resources' (ASX:S2R) Cash Burn Situation

Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. 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 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, the natural question for S2 Resources (ASX:S2R) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. For the purpose of this article, we'll define cash burn as the amount of cash the company is spending each year to fund its growth (also called its negative free cash flow). We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

View our latest analysis for S2 Resources

When Might S2 Resources Run Out Of Money?

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 June 2023, S2 Resources had AU$6.5m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was AU$6.0m. That means it had a cash runway of around 13 months as of June 2023. While that cash runway isn't too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Is S2 Resources' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Although S2 Resources reported revenue of AU$130k 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. With cash burn dropping by 8.6% it seems management feel the company is spending enough to advance its business plans at an appropriate pace. S2 Resources makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.

How Hard Would It Be For S2 Resources To Raise More Cash For Growth?

While S2 Resources is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. 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.

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Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$84m, S2 Resources' AU$6.0m in cash burn equates to about 7.1% 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 S2 Resources' Cash Burn A Worry?

The good news is that in our view S2 Resources' cash burn situation gives shareholders real reason for optimism. Not only was its cash burn reduction quite good, but its cash burn relative to its market cap was a real positive. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we're not too worried about its rate of cash burn. Readers need to have a sound understanding of business risks before investing in a stock, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for S2 Resources that potential shareholders should take into account before putting money into a stock.

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)

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.