Is Hydration Pharmaceuticals (ASX:HPC) In A Good Position To Invest In Growth?

Simply Wall St
March 15, 2022
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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 lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Hydration Pharmaceuticals (ASX:HPC) 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'. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

Check out our latest analysis for Hydration Pharmaceuticals

When Might Hydration Pharmaceuticals Run Out Of Money?

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. When Hydration Pharmaceuticals last reported its balance sheet in December 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$11m. In the last year, its cash burn was US$8.1m. That means it had a cash runway of around 16 months as of December 2021. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

ASX:HPC Debt to Equity History March 15th 2022

How Well Is Hydration Pharmaceuticals Growing?

One thing for shareholders to keep front in mind is that Hydration Pharmaceuticals increased its cash burn by 615% in the last twelve months. While that certainly gives us pause for thought, we take a lot of comfort in the strong annual revenue growth of 58%. Considering both these factors, we're not particularly excited by its growth profile. In reality, this article only makes a short study of the company's growth data. This graph of historic revenue growth shows how Hydration Pharmaceuticals is building its business over time.

Can Hydration Pharmaceuticals Raise More Cash Easily?

Hydration Pharmaceuticals seems to be in a fairly good position, in terms of cash burn, but we still think it's worthwhile considering how easily it could raise more money if it wanted to. 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 and 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$29m, Hydration Pharmaceuticals' US$8.1m in cash burn equates to about 28% of its market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

So, Should We Worry About Hydration Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Hydration Pharmaceuticals' cash burn, we think its revenue growth was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn 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. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 3 warning signs for Hydration Pharmaceuticals you should be aware of, and 1 of them shouldn't be ignored.

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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