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, 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 the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
So should Transense Technologies (LON:TRT) shareholders be worried about its 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. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
When Might Transense Technologies Run Out Of Money?
A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. In June 2019, Transense Technologies had UK£2.6m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through UK£1.3m. So it had a cash runway of about 2.1 years from June 2019. Arguably, that's a prudent and sensible length of runway to have. However, if we extrapolate the company's recent cash burn trend, then it would have a longer cash run way. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Well Is Transense Technologies Growing?
It was fairly positive to see that Transense Technologies reduced its cash burn by 31% during the last year. And operating revenue was up by 8.6%, too. 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 Transense Technologies To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Transense Technologies seems to be in a fairly good position, in terms of cash burn, but we still think it's worthwhile considering how easily it could raise more money if it wanted to. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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).
Transense Technologies's cash burn of UK£1.3m is about 10% of its UK£12m market capitalisation. As a result, we'd venture that the company could raise more cash for growth without much trouble, albeit at the cost of some dilution.
How Risky Is Transense Technologies's Cash Burn Situation?
Transense Technologies appears to be in pretty good health when it comes to its cash burn situation. One the one hand we have its solid cash burn relative to its market cap, while on the other it can also boast very strong cash runway. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. For us, it's always important to consider risks around cash burn rates. But investors should look at a whole range of factors when researching a new stock. For example, it could be interesting to see how much the Transense Technologies CEO receives in total remuneration.
Of course Transense Technologies may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.
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