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, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.
So, the natural question for Iconovo (STO:ICO) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. For the purposes of this article, cash burn is the annual rate at which an unprofitable company spends cash to fund its growth; its negative free cash flow. First, we’ll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
See our latest analysis for Iconovo
How Long Is Iconovo’s 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. As at December 2019, Iconovo had cash of kr89m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was kr20m. Therefore, from December 2019 it had 4.4 years of cash runway. Importantly, though, analysts think that Iconovo will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is Iconovo Growing?
It was quite stunning to see that Iconovo increased its cash burn by 225% over the last year. That does give us pause, and we can’t take much solace in the operating revenue growth of 16% in the same time frame. Taken together, we think these growth metrics are a little worrying. 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 Iconovo Raise More Cash Easily?
Even though it seems like Iconovo is developing its business nicely, we still like to consider how easily it could raise more money to accelerate growth. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive 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).
Iconovo’s cash burn of kr20m is about 4.4% of its kr457m market capitalisation. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year’s growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.
How Risky Is Iconovo’s Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we’re not too worried about Iconovo’s cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Although we do find its increasing cash burn to be a bit of a negative, once we consider the other metrics mentioned in this article together, the overall picture is one we are comfortable with. One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. Looking at all the measures in this article, together, we’re not worried about its rate of cash burn; the company seems well on top of its medium-term spending needs. Readers need to have a sound understanding of business risks before investing in a stock, and we’ve spotted 4 warning signs for Iconovo that potential shareholders should take into account before putting money into a stock.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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