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There’s no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

So should Barsele Minerals (CVE:BME) 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Barsele Minerals

When Might Barsele Minerals Run Out Of Money?

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. In September 2022, Barsele Minerals had CA$1.7m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through CA$1.7m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 12 months from September 2022. That’s quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis

debt-equity-history-analysis

How Is Barsele Minerals’ Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Barsele Minerals didn’t record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it’s an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. As it happens, the company’s cash burn reduced by 2.7% over the last year, which suggests that management may be mindful of the risks of their depleting cash reserves. Barsele Minerals 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 Hard Would It Be For Barsele Minerals To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Even though it has reduced its cash burn recently, shareholders should still consider how easy it would be for Barsele Minerals to raise more cash in the future. 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).

Barsele Minerals’ cash burn of CA$1.7m is about 3.7% of its CA$45m market capitalisation. That’s a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.

How Risky Is Barsele Minerals’ Cash Burn Situation?

On this analysis of Barsele Minerals’ cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its cash runway has us a bit worried. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we’re not too worried about its rate of cash burn. On another note, Barsele Minerals has 5 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn’t be ignored) we think you should know about.

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)

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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