We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
So should Xtract Resources (LON:XTR) 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 Xtract Resources 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. In December 2021, Xtract Resources had UK£5.4m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was UK£5.8m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of approximately 11 months from December 2021. That's quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. We should note, however, that if we extrapolate recent trends in its cash burn, then its cash runway would get a lot longer. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is Xtract Resources' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Although Xtract Resources had revenue of UK£692k in the last twelve months, its operating revenue was only UK£692k in that time period. We don't think that's enough operating revenue for us to understand too much from revenue growth rates, since the company is growing off a low base. So we'll focus on the cash burn, today. Its cash burn positively exploded in the last year, up 5,807%. With that kind of spending growth its cash runway will shorten quickly, as it simultaneously uses its cash while increasing the burn rate. Admittedly, we're a bit cautious of Xtract Resources 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 Xtract Resources Raise More Cash Easily?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Xtract Resources shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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.
Since it has a market capitalisation of UK£34m, Xtract Resources' UK£5.8m in cash burn equates to about 17% of its market value. Given that situation, it's fair to say the company wouldn't have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.
So, Should We Worry About Xtract Resources' Cash Burn?
Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Xtract Resources' cash burn relative to its market cap was relatively promising. Summing up, we think the Xtract Resources' cash burn is a risk, based on the factors we mentioned in this article. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 4 warning signs for Xtract Resources (1 is a bit concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.