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, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Caribou Biosciences (NASDAQ:CRBU) shareholders should 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.
How Long Is Caribou Biosciences' 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. When Caribou Biosciences last reported its balance sheet in June 2022, it had zero debt and cash worth US$340m. Importantly, its cash burn was US$86m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2022 it had 4.0 years of cash runway. There's no doubt that this is a reassuringly long runway. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is Caribou Biosciences Growing?
It was quite stunning to see that Caribou Biosciences increased its cash burn by 511% over the last year. Of course, the truly verdant revenue growth of 155% in that time may well justify the growth spend. Considering both these factors, we're not particularly excited by its growth profile. 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 Caribou Biosciences Raise More Cash Easily?
There's no doubt Caribou Biosciences seems to be in a fairly good position, when it comes to managing its cash burn, but even if it's only hypothetical, it's always worth asking how easily it could raise more money to fund 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$621m, Caribou Biosciences' US$86m in cash burn equates to about 14% 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.
How Risky Is Caribou Biosciences' Cash Burn Situation?
On this analysis of Caribou Biosciences' cash burn, we think its revenue growth was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 3 warning signs for Caribou Biosciences (of which 1 is concerning!) you should know about.
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)
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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.
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