Stock Analysis

Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About Shattuck Labs' (NASDAQ:STTK) Cash Burn Situation

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NasdaqGS:STTK
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We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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 while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.

So should Shattuck Labs (NASDAQ:STTK) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. 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 Shattuck Labs

How Long Is Shattuck Labs' 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. In December 2020, Shattuck Labs had US$335m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$34m. Therefore, from December 2020 it had 9.8 years of cash runway. Even though this is but one measure of the company's cash burn, the thought of such a long cash runway warms our bellies in a comforting way. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGS:STTK Debt to Equity History May 7th 2021

How Well Is Shattuck Labs Growing?

Shattuck Labs boosted investment sharply in the last year, with cash burn ramping by 60%. That's not ideal, but we're made even more nervous given that operating revenue was flat over the same period. Taken together, we think these growth metrics are a little worrying. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.

How Easily Can Shattuck Labs Raise Cash?

Even though it seems like Shattuck Labs is developing its business nicely, we still like to consider how easily it could raise more money to accelerate growth. 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. 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).

Since it has a market capitalisation of US$1.4b, Shattuck Labs' US$34m in cash burn equates to about 2.5% of its market value. So it could almost certainly just borrow a little to fund another year's growth, or else easily raise the cash by issuing a few shares.

Is Shattuck Labs' Cash Burn A Worry?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Shattuck Labs' 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. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 3 warning signs for Shattuck Labs (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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What are the risks and opportunities for Shattuck Labs?

Shattuck Labs, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company, develops therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease in the United States.

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Rewards

  • Revenue is forecast to grow 69.46% per year

Risks

  • Currently unprofitable and not forecast to become profitable over the next 3 years

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