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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.
So should Data I/O (NASDAQ:DAIO) 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). The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
Does Data I/O Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In June 2021, Data I/O had US$13m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$294k. That means it had a cash runway of very many years as of June 2021. Even though this is but one measure of the company's cash burn, the thought of such a long cash runway warms our bellies in a comforting way. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is Data I/O Growing?
Data I/O managed to reduce its cash burn by 76% over the last twelve months, which suggests it's on the right flight path. And revenue is up 24% in that same period; also a good sign. It seems to be growing nicely. 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.
Can Data I/O Raise More Cash Easily?
While Data I/O seems to be in a decent position, we reckon it is still worth thinking about how easily it could raise more cash, if that proved desirable. 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.
Data I/O has a market capitalisation of US$55m and burnt through US$294k last year, which is 0.5% of the company's market value. 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 Data I/O's Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Data I/O's cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Its revenue growth wasn't quite as good, but was still rather encouraging! After considering a range of factors in this article, we're pretty relaxed about its cash burn, since the company seems to be in a good position to continue to fund its growth. Taking an in-depth view of risks, we've identified 3 warning signs for Data I/O that you should be aware of before investing.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies insiders are buying, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
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.
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