Here's Why We're Watching Immunic's (NASDAQ:IMUX) Cash Burn Situation

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 12, 2021
NasdaqGS:IMUX
Source: Shutterstock

There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

So, the natural question for Immunic (NASDAQ:IMUX) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

Check out our latest analysis for Immunic

Does Immunic Have A Long Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at June 2021, Immunic had cash of US$87m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was US$68m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2021 it had roughly 15 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. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGS:IMUX Debt to Equity History August 13th 2021

How Is Immunic's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Immunic 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. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 108%. That sort of spending growth rate can't continue for very long before it causes balance sheet weakness, generally speaking. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

How Easily Can Immunic Raise Cash?

While Immunic does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive growth. We can compare a company's cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year's operations.

Immunic has a market capitalisation of US$255m and burnt through US$68m last year, which is 27% of the company's market value. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.

Is Immunic's Cash Burn A Worry?

On this analysis of Immunic's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Looking at the factors mentioned in this short report, we do think that its cash burn is a bit risky, and it does make us slightly nervous about the stock. Its important for readers to be cognizant of the risks that can affect the company's operations, and we've picked out 3 warning signs for Immunic that investors should know when investing in the 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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