We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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 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 Great Bear Resources (CVE:GBR) 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
How Long Is Great Bear Resources' Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When Great Bear Resources last reported its balance sheet in March 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth CA$98m. Importantly, its cash burn was CA$27m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of about 3.6 years from March 2021. Importantly, though, analysts think that Great Bear Resources will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is Great Bear Resources' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Great Bear Resources isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. So while we can't look to sales to understand growth, we can look at how the cash burn is changing to understand how expenditure is trending over time. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 43%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. 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.
Can Great Bear Resources Raise More Cash Easily?
While Great Bear Resources 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.
Since it has a market capitalisation of CA$969m, Great Bear Resources' CA$27m in cash burn equates to about 2.8% of its market value. So it could almost certainly just borrow a little to fund another year's growth, or else easily raise the cash by issuing a few shares.
How Risky Is Great Bear Resources' Cash Burn Situation?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Great Bear Resources 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. While its increasing cash burn wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. It's clearly very positive to see that analysts are forecasting the company will break even fairly soon. Taking all the factors in this report into account, we're not at all worried about its cash burn, as the business appears well capitalized to spend as needs be. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 4 warning signs for Great Bear Resources (1 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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