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Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About MediciNova's (NASDAQ:MNOV) Cash Burn Situation
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. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
So, the natural question for MediciNova (NASDAQ:MNOV) 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'. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.
See our latest analysis for MediciNova
When Might MediciNova Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. In December 2022, MediciNova had US$58m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was US$13m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of about 4.5 years from December 2022. Importantly, though, analysts think that MediciNova will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is MediciNova's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
MediciNova didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. With the cash burn rate up 37% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. 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.
Can MediciNova Raise More Cash Easily?
Given its cash burn trajectory, MediciNova shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. 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).
MediciNova has a market capitalisation of US$96m and burnt through US$13m last year, which is 14% of the company's market value. Given that situation, it's fair to say the company wouldn't have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.
How Risky Is MediciNova's Cash Burn Situation?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way MediciNova is burning through its cash. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Although its increasing cash burn does give us reason for pause, the other metrics we discussed in this article form a positive picture overall. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it will reach breakeven. Based on the factors mentioned in this article, we think its cash burn situation warrants some attention from shareholders, but we don't think they should be worried. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 4 warning signs for MediciNova you should be aware of, and 2 of them are potentially serious.
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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.
MediciNova, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing novel and small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases with unmet medical needs in the United States.
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