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Is Ovid Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OVID) In A Good Position To Deliver On Growth Plans?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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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, the natural question for Ovid Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OVID) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of 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). Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

Check out our latest analysis for Ovid Therapeutics

How Long Is Ovid Therapeutics' Cash Runway?

You can calculate a company's cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. In September 2020, Ovid Therapeutics had US$87m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$54m. Therefore, from September 2020 it had roughly 19 months of cash runway. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Is Ovid Therapeutics' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Whilst it's great to see that Ovid Therapeutics has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced US$6.9m, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis we'll focus on how the cash burn is tracking. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 20%, 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. 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.

How Easily Can Ovid Therapeutics Raise Cash?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Ovid Therapeutics shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of US$163m, Ovid Therapeutics' US$54m in cash burn equates to about 33% of its market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

So, Should We Worry About Ovid Therapeutics' Cash Burn?

Even though its cash burn relative to its market cap makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Ovid Therapeutics' cash runway was relatively promising. Even though we don't think it has a problem with its cash burn, the analysis we've done in this article does suggest that shareholders should give some careful thought to the potential cost of raising more money in the future. Taking an in-depth view of risks, we've identified 3 warning signs for Ovid Therapeutics that you should be aware of before investing.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies, 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 editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.