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Matinas BioPharma Holdings (NYSEMKT:MTNB) Is In A Good Position To Deliver On Growth Plans

Simply Wall St

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, although software-as-a-service business Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So, the natural question for Matinas BioPharma Holdings (NYSEMKT:MTNB) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for Matinas BioPharma Holdings

Does Matinas BioPharma Holdings Have A Long Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at June 2019, Matinas BioPharma Holdings had cash of US$37m and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was US$11m. So it had a cash runway of about 3.4 years from June 2019. Importantly, analysts think that Matinas BioPharma Holdings will reach cashflow breakeven in 4 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

AMEX:MTNB Historical Debt, September 20th 2019

How Is Matinas BioPharma Holdings's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

In our view, Matinas BioPharma Holdings doesn't yet produce significant amounts of operating revenue, since it reported just US$90k 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 7.9%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. However, the company's true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. 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 Matinas BioPharma Holdings Raise Cash?

While its cash burn is only increasing slightly, Matinas BioPharma Holdings shareholders should still consider the potential need for further cash, down the track. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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).

Since it has a market capitalisation of US$96m, Matinas BioPharma Holdings's US$11m in cash burn equates to about 11% of its market value. Given that situation, it's fair to say the company wouldn't have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.

So, Should We Worry About Matinas BioPharma Holdings's Cash Burn?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Matinas BioPharma Holdings's cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. While its increasing cash burn wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we're pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash, as it seems on track to meet its needs over the medium term. When you don't have traditional metrics like earnings per share and free cash flow to value a company, many are extra motivated to consider qualitative factors such as whether insiders are buying or selling shares. Please Note: Matinas BioPharma Holdings insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this freelist of interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.