We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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?
So, the natural question for Aravive (NASDAQ:ARAV) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.
How Long Is Aravive's Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When Aravive last reported its balance sheet in June 2022, it had zero debt and cash worth US$47m. Importantly, its cash burn was US$49m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from June 2022 it had roughly 11 months of cash runway. That's quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Well Is Aravive Growing?
Notably, Aravive actually ramped up its cash burn very hard and fast in the last year, by 184%, signifying heavy investment in the business. As if that's not bad enough, the operating revenue also dropped by 37%, making us very wary indeed. Considering these two factors together makes us nervous about the direction the company seems to be heading. 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.
Can Aravive Raise More Cash Easily?
Since Aravive can't yet boast improving growth metrics, the market will likely be considering how it can raise more cash if need be. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and fund growth. By looking at a company's cash burn relative to its market capitalisation, we gain insight on how much shareholders would be diluted if the company needed to raise enough cash to cover another year's cash burn.
Aravive has a market capitalisation of US$25m and burnt through US$49m last year, which is 194% of the company's market value. That suggests the company may have some funding difficulties, and we'd be very wary of the stock.
So, Should We Worry About Aravive's Cash Burn?
As you can probably tell by now, we're rather concerned about Aravive's cash burn. Take, for example, its cash burn relative to its market cap, which suggests the company may have difficulty funding itself, in the future. And although we accept its cash runway wasn't as worrying as its cash burn relative to its market cap, it was still a real negative; as indeed were all the factors we considered in this article. After considering the data discussed in this article, we don't have a lot of confidence that its cash burn rate is prudent, as it seems like it might need more cash soon. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 6 warning signs for Aravive you should be aware of, and 2 of them are potentially serious.
If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt or this list of stocks which are all forecast to grow.
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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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