Will PolyPid (NASDAQ:PYPD) Spend Its Cash Wisely?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 18, 2022
NasdaqGM:PYPD
Source: Shutterstock

We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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, the natural question for PolyPid (NASDAQ:PYPD) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

Check out our latest analysis for PolyPid

How Long Is PolyPid's Cash Runway?

You can calculate a company's cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. When PolyPid last reported its balance sheet in December 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$32m. Importantly, its cash burn was US$35m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from December 2021 it had roughly 11 months of cash runway. To be frank, this kind of short runway puts us on edge, as it indicates the company must reduce its cash burn significantly, or else raise cash imminently. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGM:PYPD Debt to Equity History March 18th 2022

How Is PolyPid's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because PolyPid 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by a very significant 55%. While this spending increase is no doubt intended to drive growth, if the trend continues the company's cash runway will shrink very quickly. 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 PolyPid To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Since its cash burn is moving in the wrong direction, PolyPid shareholders may wish to think ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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.

PolyPid's cash burn of US$35m is about 34% of its US$105m market capitalisation. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

So, Should We Worry About PolyPid's Cash Burn?

PolyPid is not in a great position when it comes to its cash burn situation. Although we can understand if some shareholders find its cash runway acceptable, we can't ignore the fact that we consider its increasing cash burn to be downright troublesome. 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. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for PolyPid (of which 2 don't sit too well with us!) you should know about.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies insiders are buying, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)

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.