Here's Why Addex Therapeutics (VTX:ADXN) Must Use Its Cash Wisely

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 11, 2022
SWX:ADXN
Source: Shutterstock

There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Addex Therapeutics (VTX:ADXN) 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.

View our latest analysis for Addex Therapeutics

When Might Addex Therapeutics Run Out Of Money?

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. As at March 2022, Addex Therapeutics had cash of CHF15m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was CHF17m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of approximately 11 months from March 2022. Notably, analysts forecast that Addex Therapeutics will break even (at a free cash flow level) in about 4 years. Essentially, that means the company will either reduce its cash burn, or else require more cash. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis
SWX:ADXN Debt to Equity History May 11th 2022

How Well Is Addex Therapeutics Growing?

Addex Therapeutics boosted investment sharply in the last year, with cash burn ramping by 55%. While that's concerning on it's own, the fact that operating revenue was actually down 35% over the same period makes us positively tremulous. Taken together, we think these growth metrics are a little worrying. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.

How Hard Would It Be For Addex Therapeutics To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Addex Therapeutics revenue is declining and its cash burn is increasing, so many may be considering its need to raise more cash in the future. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and fund growth. By comparing a company's annual cash burn to its total market capitalisation, we can estimate roughly how many shares it would have to issue in order to run the company for another year (at the same burn rate).

Since it has a market capitalisation of CHF26m, Addex Therapeutics' CHF17m in cash burn equates to about 65% of its market value. Given how large that cash burn is, relative to the market value of the entire company, we'd consider it to be a high risk stock, with the real possibility of extreme dilution.

How Risky Is Addex Therapeutics' Cash Burn Situation?

We must admit that we don't think Addex Therapeutics is in a very strong position, when it comes to its cash burn. While its cash runway wasn't too bad, its cash burn relative to its market cap does leave us rather nervous. One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. After considering the data discussed in this article, we don't have a lot of confidence that its cash burn rate is prudent, as it seems like it might need more cash soon. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 5 warning signs for Addex Therapeutics you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

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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