Is Sesen Bio (NASDAQ:SESN) In A Good Position To Invest In Growth?

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

Given this risk, we thought we’d take a look at whether Sesen Bio (NASDAQ:SESN) shareholders should be worried about its 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.

See our latest analysis for Sesen Bio

Does Sesen Bio Have A Long 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 March 2020, Sesen Bio had cash of US$42m and such minimal debt that we can ignore it for the purposes of this analysis. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$39m. Therefore, from March 2020 it had roughly 13 months of cash runway. Importantly, analysts think that Sesen Bio will reach cashflow breakeven in 3 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

NasdaqGM:SESN Historical Debt June 16th 2020
NasdaqGM:SESN Historical Debt June 16th 2020

How Is Sesen Bio’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Sesen Bio 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. With the cash burn rate up 45% 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 Sesen Bio Raise More Cash Easily?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Sesen Bio shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive 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 US$83m, Sesen Bio’s US$39m in cash burn equates to about 46% of its market value. That’s high expenditure relative to the value of the entire company, so if it does have to issue shares to fund more growth, that could end up really hurting shareholders returns (through significant dilution).

How Risky Is Sesen Bio’s Cash Burn Situation?

Even though its cash burn relative to its market cap makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Sesen Bio’s cash runway was relatively promising. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it will reach breakeven. Looking at the factors mentioned in this short report, we do think that its cash burn is a bit risky, and it does make us slightly nervous about the stock. Taking an in-depth view of risks, we’ve identified 4 warning signs for Sesen Bio that you should be aware of before investing.

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)

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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. 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. Thank you for reading.