We’re Not Worried About OncoSil Medical’s (ASX:OSL) Cash Burn
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, the natural question for OncoSil Medical (ASX:OSL) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of 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. We’ll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
When Might OncoSil Medical Run Out Of Money?
A company’s cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at June 2020, OncoSil Medical had cash of AU$21m and such minimal debt that we can ignore it for the purposes of this analysis. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through AU$4.5m. Therefore, from June 2020 it had 4.7 years of cash runway. There’s no doubt that this is a reassuringly long runway. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is OncoSil Medical’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Although OncoSil Medical reported revenue of AU$2.8m last year, it didn’t actually have any revenue from operations. To us, that makes it a pre-revenue company, so we’ll look to its cash burn trajectory as an assessment of its cash burn situation. Even though it doesn’t get us excited, the 40% reduction in cash burn year on year does suggest the company can continue operating for quite some time. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
How Hard Would It Be For OncoSil Medical To Raise More Cash For Growth?
While OncoSil Medical is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it’s still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. 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 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).
Since it has a market capitalisation of AU$110m, OncoSil Medical’s AU$4.5m in cash burn equates to about 4.1% of its market value. 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.