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 while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
So should Citius Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CTXR) shareholders 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
How Long Is Citius Pharmaceuticals' Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2022, Citius Pharmaceuticals had cash of US$37m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$29m. Therefore, from December 2022 it had roughly 16 months of cash runway. 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.
How Is Citius Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Citius Pharmaceuticals isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. So while we can't look to sales to understand growth, we can look at how the cash burn is changing to understand how expenditure is trending over time. Even though it doesn't get us excited, the 52% reduction in cash burn year on year does suggest the company can continue operating for quite some 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 Citius Pharmaceuticals To Raise More Cash For Growth?
While we're comforted by the recent reduction evident from our analysis of Citius Pharmaceuticals' cash burn, it is still worth considering how easily the company could raise more funds, if it wanted to accelerate spending to drive growth. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
Citius Pharmaceuticals' cash burn of US$29m is about 13% of its US$224m market capitalisation. As a result, we'd venture that the company could raise more cash for growth without much trouble, albeit at the cost of some dilution.
Is Citius Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn A Worry?
The good news is that in our view Citius Pharmaceuticals' cash burn situation gives shareholders real reason for optimism. One the one hand we have its solid cash burn relative to its market cap, while on the other it can also boast very strong cash burn reduction. 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. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 2 warning signs for Citius Pharmaceuticals (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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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.
Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a late-stage pharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of critical care products focusing on oncology products, anti-infectives products in adjunct cancer care, prescription products, and stem cell therapy.