We Think COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS) Can Afford To Drive Business Growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 29, 2021
NasdaqGS:CMPS
Source: Shutterstock

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. 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 COMPASS Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS) 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'. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for COMPASS Pathways

When Might COMPASS Pathways 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 COMPASS Pathways last reported its balance sheet in September 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$294m. In the last year, its cash burn was US$62m. That means it had a cash runway of about 4.7 years as of September 2021. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGS:CMPS Debt to Equity History December 29th 2021

How Is COMPASS Pathways' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

COMPASS Pathways didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by a very significant 100%. Oftentimes, increased cash burn simply means a company is accelerating its business development, but one should always be mindful that this causes the cash runway to shrink. 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 COMPASS Pathways To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Given its cash burn trajectory, COMPASS Pathways shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. 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$910m, COMPASS Pathways' US$62m in cash burn equates to about 6.9% of its market value. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year's growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.

How Risky Is COMPASS Pathways' Cash Burn Situation?

It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way COMPASS Pathways 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 we do find its increasing cash burn to be a bit of a negative, once we consider the other metrics mentioned in this article together, the overall picture is one we are comfortable with. Looking at all the measures in this article, together, we're not worried about its rate of cash burn; the company seems well on top of its medium-term spending needs. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 5 warning signs for COMPASS Pathways (2 make us uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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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