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Companies Like Varonis Systems (NASDAQ:VRNS) Can Afford To Invest In Growth

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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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

So should Varonis Systems (NASDAQ:VRNS) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

See our latest analysis for Varonis Systems

Does Varonis Systems Have A Long Cash Runway?

You can calculate a company's cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. When Varonis Systems last reported its balance sheet in March 2020, it had zero debt and cash worth US$126m. Importantly, its cash burn was US$44m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of about 2.9 years from March 2020. Importantly, though, analysts think that Varonis Systems will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

NasdaqGS:VRNS Debt to Equity History July 7th 2020
NasdaqGS:VRNS Debt to Equity History July 7th 2020

Is Varonis Systems's Revenue Growing?

We're hesitant to extrapolate on the recent trend to assess its cash burn, because Varonis Systems actually had positive free cash flow last year, so operating revenue growth is probably our best bet to measure, right now. Unfortunately, the last year has been a disappointment, with operating revenue dropping 7.7% during the period. 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.

How Easily Can Varonis Systems Raise Cash?

Given its problematic fall in revenue, Varonis Systems shareholders should consider how the company could fund its growth, if it turns out it needs more cash. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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).

Varonis Systems's cash burn of US$44m is about 1.4% of its US$3.1b market capitalisation. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.

So, Should We Worry About Varonis Systems's Cash Burn?

It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Varonis Systems is burning through its cash. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. While its falling revenue wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. It's clearly very positive to see that analysts are forecasting the company will break even fairly soon. Taking all the factors in this report into account, we're not at all worried about its cash burn, as the business appears well capitalized to spend as needs be. An in-depth examination of risks revealed 3 warning signs for Varonis Systems 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 interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.