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Is Clean Power Hydrogen (LON:CPH2) In A Good Position To Invest In Growth?

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, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Clean Power Hydrogen (LON:CPH2) shareholders should be worried about its cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

View our latest analysis for Clean Power Hydrogen

Does Clean Power Hydrogen Have A Long Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. When Clean Power Hydrogen last reported its balance sheet in June 2023, it had zero debt and cash worth UK£13m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through UK£9.0m. That means it had a cash runway of around 17 months as of June 2023. 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. Importantly, if we extrapolate recent cash burn trends, the cash runway would be a lot longer. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
AIM:CPH2 Debt to Equity History January 19th 2024

How Is Clean Power Hydrogen's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Clean Power Hydrogen 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. With the cash burn rate up 18% 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. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.

How Easily Can Clean Power Hydrogen Raise Cash?

While Clean Power Hydrogen 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. 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).

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Since it has a market capitalisation of UK£27m, Clean Power Hydrogen's UK£9.0m in cash burn equates to about 33% of its market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

So, Should We Worry About Clean Power Hydrogen's Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Clean Power Hydrogen's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its cash burn relative to its market cap has us a bit worried. We don't think its cash burn is particularly problematic, but after considering the range of factors in this article, we do think shareholders should be monitoring how it changes over time. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 3 warning signs for Clean Power Hydrogen you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

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.