Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. Indeed, Aerpio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARPO) stock is up 150% in the last year, providing strong gains for shareholders. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
Given its strong share price performance, we think it's worthwhile for Aerpio Pharmaceuticals shareholders to consider whether its cash burn is concerning. 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. Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.
Does Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Have A Long 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 Aerpio Pharmaceuticals last reported its balance sheet in June 2020, it had zero debt and cash worth US$45m. In the last year, its cash burn was US$3.3m. That means it had a cash runway of very many years as of June 2020. Even though this is but one measure of the company's cash burn, the thought of such a long cash runway warms our bellies in a comforting way. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Well Is Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Growing?
Aerpio Pharmaceuticals managed to reduce its cash burn by 88% over the last twelve months, which is extremely promising, when it comes to considering its need for cash. Unfortunately, however, operating revenue dropped 20% during the same time frame. Considering the factors above, the company doesn’t fare badly when it comes to assessing how it is changing over time. 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 Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Raise More Cash Easily?
There's no doubt Aerpio Pharmaceuticals 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. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and 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.
Aerpio Pharmaceuticals has a market capitalisation of US$67m and burnt through US$3.3m last year, which is 4.9% of the company's market value. That's a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.
Is Aerpio Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn A Worry?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Aerpio Pharmaceuticals' cash burn. In particular, we think its cash burn reduction stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While its falling revenue wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. Looking at all the measures in this article, together, we're not worried about its rate of cash burn; the company seems well on top of its medium-term spending needs. On another note, Aerpio Pharmaceuticals has 5 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think you should know about.
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)
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 email@example.com.