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Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About Carnegie Clean Energy's (ASX:CCE) Cash Burn Situation

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 history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

So, the natural question for Carnegie Clean Energy (ASX:CCE) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

Check out our latest analysis for Carnegie Clean Energy

When Might Carnegie Clean Energy 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. As at December 2022, Carnegie Clean Energy had cash of AU$3.8m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$1.6m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of about 2.4 years as of December 2022. That's decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

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

How Is Carnegie Clean Energy's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

In our view, Carnegie Clean Energy doesn't yet produce significant amounts of operating revenue, since it reported just AU$397k in the last twelve months. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we'll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. The skyrocketing cash burn up 185% year on year certainly tests our nerves. It's fair to say that sort of rate of increase cannot be maintained for very long, without putting pressure on the balance sheet. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Carnegie Clean Energy 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 Carnegie Clean Energy To Raise More Cash For Growth?

While Carnegie Clean Energy 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. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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.

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Carnegie Clean Energy's cash burn of AU$1.6m is about 5.1% of its AU$31m market capitalisation. 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.

So, Should We Worry About Carnegie Clean Energy's Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Carnegie Clean Energy's cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 5 warning signs for Carnegie Clean Energy (of which 3 don't sit too well with us!) you should know about.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies insiders are buying, 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.

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