Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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 should G1 Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GTHX) shareholders 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.
Does G1 Therapeutics Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company’s cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. When G1 Therapeutics last reported its balance sheet in June 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth US$325m. Importantly, its cash burn was US$83m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2019 it had 3.9 years of cash runway. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is G1 Therapeutics’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because G1 Therapeutics isn’t currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. So while we can’t look to sales to understand growth, we can look at how the cash burn is changing to understand how expenditure is trending over time. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 28%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. However, the company’s true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. 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 G1 Therapeutics To Raise More Cash For Growth?
While G1 Therapeutics does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. 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. 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.
G1 Therapeutics has a market capitalisation of US$790m and burnt through US$83m last year, which is 11% of the company’s market value. Given that situation, it’s fair to say the company wouldn’t have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.
Is G1 Therapeutics’s Cash Burn A Worry?
It may already be apparent to you that we’re relatively comfortable with the way G1 Therapeutics is burning through its cash. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Although its increasing cash burn does give us reason for pause, the other metrics we discussed in this article form a positive picture overall. After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we’re pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash, as it seems on track to meet its needs over the medium term. Notably, our data indicates that G1 Therapeutics insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.
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