Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. 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.
So should Longboard Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LBPH) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? For the purpose of this article, we'll define cash burn as the amount of cash the company is spending each year to fund its growth (also called its negative free cash flow). We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
When Might Longboard Pharmaceuticals Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When Longboard Pharmaceuticals last reported its balance sheet in March 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$121m. Importantly, its cash burn was US$11m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a very long cash runway of many years from March 2021. While this is only one measure of its cash burn situation, it certainly gives us the impression that holders have nothing to worry about. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Hard Would It Be For Longboard Pharmaceuticals To Raise More Cash For 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. 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.
Longboard Pharmaceuticals' cash burn of US$11m is about 6.7% of its US$167m market capitalisation. 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 Longboard Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn Situation?
Given it's an early stage company, we don't have a lot of data with which to judge Longboard Pharmaceuticals' cash burn. Certainly, we'd be more confident in the stock if it was generating operating revenue. However, it is fair to say that its cash runway gave us comfort. Overall, we think its cash burn seems perfectly reasonable, and we are not concerned by it. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 3 warning signs for Longboard Pharmaceuticals (1 shouldn't be ignored!) 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 interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)
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