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 the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.
So should Ceres Power Holdings (LON:CWR) shareholders 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). Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.
Does Ceres Power Holdings Have A Long 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. When Ceres Power Holdings last reported its balance sheet in June 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth UK£261m. In the last year, its cash burn was UK£25m. So it had a very long cash runway of many years from June 2021. While this is only one measure of its cash burn situation, it certainly gives us the impression that holders have nothing to worry about. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is Ceres Power Holdings Growing?
Ceres Power Holdings boosted investment sharply in the last year, with cash burn ramping by 82%. While that isa little concerning at a glance, the company has a track record of recent growth, evidenced by the impressive 71% growth in revenue, over the very same year. Considering the factors above, the company doesn’t fare badly when it comes to assessing how it is changing over time. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.
How Hard Would It Be For Ceres Power Holdings To Raise More Cash For Growth?
We are certainly impressed with the progress Ceres Power Holdings has made over the last year, but it is also worth considering how costly it would be if it wanted to raise more cash to fund faster growth. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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.
Ceres Power Holdings' cash burn of UK£25m is about 2.0% of its UK£1.2b market capitalisation. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.
How Risky Is Ceres Power Holdings' Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Ceres Power Holdings' cash burn. For example, we think its revenue growth suggests that the company is on a good path. While we must concede that its increasing cash burn is a bit worrying, the other factors mentioned in this article provide great comfort when it comes to the cash burn. 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. Readers need to have a sound understanding of business risks before investing in a stock, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Ceres Power Holdings that potential shareholders should take into account before putting money into a stock.
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.
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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.