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Is BioPharmX Corporation’s (NYSEMKT:BPMX) Balance Sheet Strong Enough To Weather A Storm?

BioPharmX Corporation (NYSEMKT:BPMX), which has zero-debt on its balance sheet, can maximize capital returns by increasing debt due to its lower cost of capital. However, the trade-off is BPMX will have to follow strict debt obligations which will reduce its financial flexibility. While zero-debt makes the due diligence for potential investors less nerve-racking, it poses a new question: how should they assess the financial strength of such companies? I will go over a basic overview of the stock’s financial health, which I believe provides a ballpark estimate of their financial health status.

See our latest analysis for BioPharmX

Does BPMX’s growth rate justify its decision for financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?

Debt capital generally has lower cost of capital compared to equity funding. But the downside of having debt in a company’s balance sheet is the debtholder’s higher claim on its assets in the case of liquidation, as well as stricter capital management requirements. BPMX’s absence of debt on its balance sheet may be due to lack of access to cheaper capital, or it may simply believe low cost is not worth sacrificing financial flexibility. However, choosing flexibility over capital returns is logical only if it’s a high-growth company. Opposite to the high growth we were expecting, BPMX’s negative revenue growth of -6.0% hardly justifies opting for zero-debt. If the decline sustains, it may find it hard to raise debt at an acceptable cost.

AMEX:BPMX Historical Debt December 5th 18

Does BPMX’s liquid assets cover its short-term commitments?

Since BioPharmX doesn’t have any debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t have any solvency issues, which is a term used to describe the company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. However, another measure of financial health is its short-term obligations, which is known as liquidity. These include payments to suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. Looking at BPMX’s US$3.1m in current liabilities, it appears that the company has been able to meet these commitments with a current assets level of US$7.3m, leading to a 2.39x current account ratio. Generally, for Pharmaceuticals companies, this is a reasonable ratio since there is a bit of a cash buffer without leaving too much capital in a low-return environment.

Next Steps:

Having no debt on the books means BPMX has more financial freedom to keep growing at its current fast rate. This may mean this is an optimal capital structure for the business, given that it is also meeting its short-term commitment. Going forward, its financial position may change. I admit this is a fairly basic analysis for BPMX’s financial health. Other important fundamentals need to be considered alongside. I suggest you continue to research BioPharmX to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for BPMX’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BPMX’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has BPMX’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.