Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About Magenta Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:MGTA) Cash Burn Situation

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 12, 2022
NasdaqGM:MGTA
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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Magenta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGTA) 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'. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

View our latest analysis for Magenta Therapeutics

Does Magenta Therapeutics Have A Long Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2021, Magenta Therapeutics had cash of US$177m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$61m. So it had a cash runway of about 2.9 years from December 2021. That's decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGM:MGTA Debt to Equity History April 12th 2022

How Is Magenta Therapeutics' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Magenta Therapeutics isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. As it happens, the company's cash burn reduced by 5.6% over the last year, which suggests that management are maintaining a fairly steady rate of business development, albeit with a slight decrease in spending. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

How Hard Would It Be For Magenta Therapeutics To Raise More Cash For Growth?

While Magenta Therapeutics 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. 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.

Magenta Therapeutics has a market capitalisation of US$139m and burnt through US$61m last year, which is 44% 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 Magenta Therapeutics' 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 Magenta Therapeutics' cash runway was relatively promising. While we're the kind of investors who are always a bit concerned about the risks involved with cash burning companies, the metrics we have discussed in this article leave us relatively comfortable about Magenta Therapeutics' situation. On another note, Magenta Therapeutics has 5 warning signs (and 2 which are concerning) we think you should know about.

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.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.