Will Soleno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SLNO) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So should Soleno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SLNO) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? For the purposes of this article, cash burn is the annual rate at which an unprofitable company spends cash to fund its growth; its negative free cash flow. First, we’ll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

View our latest analysis for Soleno Therapeutics

When Might Soleno Therapeutics Run Out Of Money?

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. When Soleno Therapeutics last reported its balance sheet in December 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth US$21m. In the last year, its cash burn was US$17m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 14 months from December 2019. While that cash runway isn’t too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

NasdaqCM:SLNO Historical Debt April 9th 2020
NasdaqCM:SLNO Historical Debt April 9th 2020

How Is Soleno Therapeutics’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Soleno 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. With the cash burn rate up 49% 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. 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 Soleno Therapeutics To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Soleno Therapeutics 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. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to fund 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.

Soleno Therapeutics has a market capitalisation of US$126m and burnt through US$17m last year, which is 14% of the company’s market value. As a result, we’d venture that the company could raise more cash for growth without much trouble, albeit at the cost of some dilution.

How Risky Is Soleno Therapeutics’s Cash Burn Situation?

On this analysis of Soleno Therapeutics’s cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. We don’t think its cash burn is particularly problematic, but after considering the range of factors in this article, we do think shareholders should be monitoring how it changes over time. On another note, Soleno Therapeutics has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is concerning) we think you should know about.

Of course Soleno Therapeutics may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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