Companies Like Warby Parker (NYSE:WRBY) Can Afford To Invest In Growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 19, 2022
NYSE:WRBY
Source: Shutterstock

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

So should Warby Parker (NYSE:WRBY) 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.

See our latest analysis for Warby Parker

Does Warby Parker Have A Long 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, Warby Parker had cash of US$266m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was US$20m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a very long cash runway of many years from September 2021. While this is only one measure of its cash burn situation, it certainly gives us the impression that holders have nothing to worry about. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NYSE:WRBY Debt to Equity History January 19th 2022

Is Warby Parker's Revenue Growing?

Given that Warby Parker actually had positive free cash flow last year, before burning cash this year, we'll focus on its operating revenue to get a measure of the business trajectory. It's nice to see that operating revenue was up 32% in the last year. 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.

How Hard Would It Be For Warby Parker To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Notwithstanding Warby Parker's revenue growth, it is still important to consider how it could raise more money, if it needs to. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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).

Warby Parker has a market capitalisation of US$3.6b and burnt through US$20m last year, which is 0.6% of the company's 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 Warby Parker's Cash Burn A Worry?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Warby Parker's cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. But it's fair to say that its revenue growth was also very reassuring. After considering a range of factors in this article, we're pretty relaxed about its cash burn, since the company seems to be in a good position to continue to fund its growth. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 1 warning sign for Warby Parker that readers should think about before committing capital to this stock.

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)

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