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 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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.
So, the natural question for RareX (ASX:REE) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.
Does RareX 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. As at June 2022, RareX had cash of AU$8.2m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$6.5m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of approximately 15 months from June 2022. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is RareX's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
RareX didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. With the cash burn rate up 9.9% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of RareX due to its lack of significant operating revenues. So we'd generally prefer stocks from this list of stocks that have analysts forecasting growth.
Can RareX Raise More Cash Easily?
While its cash burn is only increasing slightly, RareX shareholders should still consider the potential need for further cash, down the track. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
RareX's cash burn of AU$6.5m is about 19% of its AU$34m market capitalisation. As a result, we'd venture that the company could raise more cash for growth without much trouble, albeit at the cost of some dilution.
Is RareX's Cash Burn A Worry?
Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought RareX's cash runway was relatively promising. Even though we don't think it has a problem with its cash burn, the analysis we've done in this article does suggest that shareholders should give some careful thought to the potential cost of raising more money in the future. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for RareX (of which 2 shouldn't be ignored!) you should know about.
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)
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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.
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