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 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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
So should Turning Point Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TPTX) 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. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.
Does Turning Point Therapeutics Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at December 2021, Turning Point Therapeutics had cash of US$982m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$156m. That means it had a cash runway of about 6.3 years as of December 2021. Notably, however, analysts think that Turning Point Therapeutics will break even (at a free cash flow level) before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is Turning Point Therapeutics Growing?
Turning Point Therapeutics actually ramped up its cash burn by a whopping 86% in the last year, which shows it is boosting investment in the business. But the silver lining is that operating revenue increased by 23% in that time. In light of the data above, we're fairly sanguine about the business growth trajectory. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
Can Turning Point Therapeutics Raise More Cash Easily?
We are certainly impressed with the progress Turning Point Therapeutics has made over the last year, but it is also worth considering how costly it would be if it wanted to raise more cash to fund faster growth. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. 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$1.5b, Turning Point Therapeutics' US$156m in cash burn equates to about 11% of its market value. 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 Turning Point Therapeutics' Cash Burn A Worry?
On this analysis of Turning Point Therapeutics' cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company 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. Readers need to have a sound understanding of business risks before investing in a stock, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Turning Point Therapeutics that potential shareholders should take into account before putting money into a stock.
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)
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.