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. 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 NeuroVive Pharmaceutical (STO:NVP) shareholders should be worried about its cash burn. For the purpose of this article, we'll define cash burn as the amount of cash the company is spending each year to fund its growth (also called its negative free cash flow). First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
Does NeuroVive Pharmaceutical Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In December 2019, NeuroVive Pharmaceutical had kr58m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was kr75m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from December 2019 it had roughly 9 months of cash runway. To be frank, this kind of short runway puts us on edge, as it indicates the company must reduce its cash burn significantly, or else raise cash imminently. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is NeuroVive Pharmaceutical's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
In our view, NeuroVive Pharmaceutical doesn't yet produce significant amounts of operating revenue, since it reported just kr134k in the last twelve months. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. With the cash burn rate up 11% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
Can NeuroVive Pharmaceutical Raise More Cash Easily?
Given its cash burn trajectory, NeuroVive Pharmaceutical shareholders should already be thinking about how easy it might be for it to raise further cash in the future. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive growth. We can compare a company's cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year's operations.
NeuroVive Pharmaceutical has a market capitalisation of kr137m and burnt through kr75m last year, which is 55% of the company's market value. That's high expenditure relative to the value of the entire company, so if it does have to issue shares to fund more growth, that could end up really hurting shareholders returns (through significant dilution).
So, Should We Worry About NeuroVive Pharmaceutical's Cash Burn?
NeuroVive Pharmaceutical is not in a great position when it comes to its cash burn situation. Although we can understand if some shareholders find its increasing cash burn acceptable, we can't ignore the fact that we consider its cash burn relative to its market cap to be downright troublesome. After looking at that range of measures, we think shareholders should be extremely attentive to how the company is using its cash, as the cash burn makes us uncomfortable. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 7 warning signs for NeuroVive Pharmaceutical you should be aware of, and 3 of them are concerning.
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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