There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 Imagion Biosystems (ASX:IBX) shareholders should 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.
Check out our latest analysis for Imagion Biosystems
When Might Imagion Biosystems Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. In June 2022, Imagion Biosystems had AU$8.5m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was AU$9.6m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2022 it had roughly 11 months of cash runway. That's quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is Imagion Biosystems' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Whilst it's great to see that Imagion Biosystems has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced AU$341k, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. 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. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 137%. It's fair to say that sort of rate of increase cannot be maintained for very long, without putting pressure on the balance sheet. Imagion Biosystems makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.
How Easily Can Imagion Biosystems Raise Cash?
Since its cash burn is moving in the wrong direction, Imagion Biosystems shareholders may wish to think ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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 AU$29m, Imagion Biosystems' AU$9.6m in cash burn equates to about 33% of its market value. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.
So, Should We Worry About Imagion Biosystems' Cash Burn?
We must admit that we don't think Imagion Biosystems is in a very strong position, when it comes to its cash burn. While its cash runway wasn't too bad, its increasing cash burn does leave us rather nervous. After looking at that range of measures, we think shareholders should be extremely attentive to how the company is using its cash, as the cash burn makes us uncomfortable. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 4 warning signs for Imagion Biosystems you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit unpleasant.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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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