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 Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
So, the natural question for Concert Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNCE) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
Does Concert Pharmaceuticals Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at September 2021, Concert Pharmaceuticals had cash of US$106m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was US$45m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of about 2.4 years as of September 2021. That's decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is Concert Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
In the last year, Concert Pharmaceuticals did book revenue of US$572k, but its revenue from operations was less, at just US$33k. Given how low that operating leverage is, we think it's too early to put much weight on the revenue growth, so we'll focus on how the cash burn is changing, instead. Even though it doesn't get us excited, the 34% reduction in cash burn year on year does suggest the company can continue operating for quite some time. 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 Concert Pharmaceuticals To Raise More Cash For Growth?
While Concert Pharmaceuticals is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. 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).
Concert Pharmaceuticals has a market capitalisation of US$105m and burnt through US$45m last year, which is 43% of the company's market value. That's high expenditure relative to the value of the entire company, so if it does have to issue shares to fund more growth, that could end up really hurting shareholders returns (through significant dilution).
So, Should We Worry About Concert Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn?
Even though its cash burn relative to its market cap makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Concert Pharmaceuticals' cash runway was relatively promising. Cash burning companies are always on the riskier side of things, but after considering all of the factors discussed in this short piece, we're not too worried about its rate of cash burn. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 5 warning signs for Concert Pharmaceuticals you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit concerning.
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)
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.