Stock Analysis

We're Not Very Worried About Stoke Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:STOK) Cash Burn Rate

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NasdaqGS:STOK
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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Stoke Therapeutics (NASDAQ:STOK) shareholders should 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.

See our latest analysis for Stoke Therapeutics

When Might Stoke Therapeutics Run Out Of Money?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When Stoke Therapeutics last reported its balance sheet in December 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$220m. In the last year, its cash burn was US$68m. Therefore, from December 2021 it had 3.2 years of cash runway. There's no doubt that this is a reassuringly long runway. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGS:STOK Debt to Equity History April 29th 2022

How Is Stoke Therapeutics' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Stoke Therapeutics 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 57%. 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.

Can Stoke Therapeutics Raise More Cash Easily?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Stoke Therapeutics 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. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.

Stoke Therapeutics' cash burn of US$68m is about 11% of its US$606m market capitalisation. As a result, we'd venture that the company could raise more cash for growth without much trouble, albeit at the cost of some dilution.

Is Stoke Therapeutics' Cash Burn A Worry?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Stoke Therapeutics' cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While its increasing cash burn wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. 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 5 warning signs for Stoke Therapeutics you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit unpleasant.

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.

What are the risks and opportunities for Stoke Therapeutics?

Stoke Therapeutics, Inc., an early-stage biopharmaceutical company, develops novel antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) medicines to treat the underlying causes of severe genetic diseases in the United States.

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Rewards

  • Revenue is forecast to grow 53.49% per year

Risks

  • 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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