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. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.
So, the natural question for RenovoRx (NASDAQ:RNXT) 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. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
How Long Is RenovoRx's Cash Runway?
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. As at September 2021, RenovoRx had cash of US$18m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$4.3m. Therefore, from September 2021 it had 4.1 years of cash runway. Notably, analysts forecast that RenovoRx will break even (at a free cash flow level) in about 4 years. That means it doesn't have a great deal of breathing room, but it shouldn't really need more cash, considering that cash burn should be continually reducing. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is RenovoRx's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
RenovoRx didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its 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 25%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. 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.
Can RenovoRx Raise More Cash Easily?
While RenovoRx 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. 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.
RenovoRx has a market capitalisation of US$26m and burnt through US$4.3m last year, which is 17% 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.
So, Should We Worry About RenovoRx's Cash Burn?
It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way RenovoRx 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. One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 5 warning signs for RenovoRx (2 are potentially serious!) 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)
What are the risks and opportunities for RenovoRx?
Trading at 99.5% below our estimate of its fair value
Has less than 1 year of cash runway
Makes less than USD$1m in revenue ($0)
Does not have a meaningful market cap ($36M)
Shareholders have been diluted in the past year
Volatile share price over the past 3 months
Currently unprofitable and not forecast to become profitable over the next 3 years
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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.