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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether European Metals Holdings (ASX:EMH) shareholders should be worried about its 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). First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
How Long Is European Metals Holdings' Cash Runway?
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 December 2021, European Metals Holdings had AU$6.9m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$1.8m. So it had a cash runway of about 3.8 years from December 2021. There's no doubt that this is a reassuringly long runway. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is European Metals Holdings' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Whilst it's great to see that European Metals Holdings has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced AU$1.1m, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. 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. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
How Easily Can European Metals Holdings Raise Cash?
Even though it has reduced its cash burn recently, shareholders should still consider how easy it would be for European Metals Holdings to raise more cash in the future. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. 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).
Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$134m, European Metals Holdings' AU$1.8m in cash burn equates to about 1.4% of its 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 European Metals Holdings' Cash Burn A Worry?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way European Metals Holdings is burning through its cash. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. On this analysis its cash burn reduction was its weakest feature, but we are not concerned about it. 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. On another note, European Metals Holdings has 5 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think 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.
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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