Here's Why We're Not Too Worried About Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings' (NASDAQ:CERE) Cash Burn Situation
We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
So should Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings (NASDAQ:CERE) shareholders be worried about its cash burn? For the purposes of this article, cash burn is the annual rate at which an unprofitable company spends cash to fund its growth; its negative free cash flow. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
View our latest analysis for Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings
Does Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings Have A Long Cash Runway?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at March 2022, Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings had cash of US$543m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$218m. Therefore, from March 2022 it had 2.5 years of cash runway. Notably, analysts forecast that Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings will break even (at a free cash flow level) in about 5 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. So while we can't look to sales to understand growth, we can look at how the cash burn is changing to understand how expenditure is trending over time. With the cash burn rate up 49% 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. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.
How Hard Would It Be For Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and fund 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.
Since it has a market capitalisation of US$3.4b, Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings' US$218m in cash burn equates to about 6.5% of its market value. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year's growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.
So, Should We Worry About Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings' Cash Burn?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings' cash burn. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Although its increasing cash burn does give us reason for pause, the other metrics we discussed in this article form a positive picture overall. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it will reach breakeven. 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. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 5 warning signs for Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit concerning.
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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.