- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
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?
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Sigma Labs (NASDAQ:SGLB) 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.
How Long Is Sigma Labs' Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at March 2021, Sigma Labs had cash of US$17m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was US$4.8m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from March 2021 it had 3.5 years of cash runway. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is Sigma Labs' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
In our view, Sigma Labs doesn't yet produce significant amounts of operating revenue, since it reported just US$1.0m in the last twelve months. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. Even though it doesn't get us excited, the 22% reduction in cash burn year on year does suggest the company can continue operating for quite some 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 Easily Can Sigma Labs Raise Cash?
While Sigma Labs is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
Sigma Labs' cash burn of US$4.8m is about 12% of its US$40m market capitalisation. 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.
How Risky Is Sigma Labs' Cash Burn Situation?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Sigma Labs is burning through its cash. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. And even though its cash burn reduction wasn't quite as impressive, it was still a positive. 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. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 4 warning signs for Sigma Labs (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.