Companies Like ACADIA Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACAD) Can Afford To Invest In Growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 07, 2022
NasdaqGS:ACAD
Source: Shutterstock

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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether ACADIA Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACAD) shareholders should 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

See our latest analysis for ACADIA Pharmaceuticals

Does ACADIA Pharmaceuticals 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 ACADIA Pharmaceuticals last reported its balance sheet in March 2022, it had zero debt and cash worth US$446m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$127m. Therefore, from March 2022 it had 3.5 years of cash runway. Importantly, though, analysts think that ACADIA Pharmaceuticals will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGS:ACAD Debt to Equity History May 7th 2022

How Well Is ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Growing?

On balance, we think it's mildly positive that ACADIA Pharmaceuticals trimmed its cash burn by 18% over the last twelve months. Revenue also improved during the period, increasing by 7.6%. On balance, we'd say the company is improving over time. 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.

How Hard Would It Be For ACADIA Pharmaceuticals To Raise More Cash For Growth?

While ACADIA Pharmaceuticals seems to be in a decent position, we reckon it is still worth thinking about how easily it could raise more cash, if that proved desirable. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. 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 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.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals has a market capitalisation of US$3.0b and burnt through US$127m last year, which is 4.2% of the company's market value. That's a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.

How Risky Is ACADIA Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn Situation?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about ACADIA Pharmaceuticals' cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Its weak point is its revenue growth, but even that wasn't too bad! One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. Taking all the factors in this report into account, we're not at all worried about its cash burn, as the business appears well capitalized to spend as needs be. Readers need to have a sound understanding of business risks before investing in a stock, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for ACADIA Pharmaceuticals that potential shareholders should take into account before putting money into a stock.

If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt or this list of stocks which are all forecast to grow.

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