We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.
So, the natural question for Bio-Path Holdings (NASDAQ:BPTH) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company’s annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the ‘cash burn’. We’ll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
Does Bio-Path Holdings Have A Long Cash Runway?
A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. In December 2019, Bio-Path Holdings had US$20m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$8.4m. Therefore, from December 2019 it had 2.4 years of cash runway. That’s decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is Bio-Path Holdings’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
In our view, Bio-Path Holdings doesn’t yet produce significant amounts of operating revenue, since it reported just US$37k in the last twelve months. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we’ll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. With the cash burn rate up 36% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.
Can Bio-Path Holdings Raise More Cash Easily?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Bio-Path Holdings shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
Bio-Path Holdings’s cash burn of US$8.4m is about 74% of its US$11m market capitalisation. That’s very high expenditure relative to the company’s size, suggesting it is an extremely high risk stock.
Is Bio-Path Holdings’s Cash Burn A Worry?
On this analysis of Bio-Path Holdings’s cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its cash burn relative to its market cap has us a bit worried. Even though we don’t think it has a problem with its cash burn, the analysis we’ve done in this article does suggest that shareholders should give some careful thought to the potential cost of raising more money in the future. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 6 warning signs for Bio-Path Holdings (of which 3 can’t be ignored!) you should know about.
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