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Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) Is In A Strong Position To Grow Its Business

Simply Wall St

Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. 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 while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.

So should Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) shareholders be worried about its 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. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

See our latest analysis for Pinterest

When Might Pinterest Run Out Of Money?

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. Pinterest has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the US$1.7b in cash it held at September 2019. In the last year, its cash burn was US$53m. That means it had a cash runway of very many years as of September 2019. Importantly, though, analysts think that Pinterest will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

NYSE:PINS Historical Debt, December 10th 2019

How Well Is Pinterest Growing?

It was fairly positive to see that Pinterest reduced its cash burn by 41% during the last year. Having said that, the revenue growth of 55% was considerably more inspiring. It seems to be growing nicely. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to take a look at our analyst forecasts for the company.

How Easily Can Pinterest Raise Cash?

There's no doubt Pinterest 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. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to 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.

Pinterest's cash burn of US$53m is about 0.5% of its US$10b market capitalisation. So it could almost certainly just borrow a little to fund another year's growth, or else easily raise the cash by issuing a few shares.

Is Pinterest's Cash Burn A Worry?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Pinterest's cash burn. In particular, we think its revenue growth stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Its cash burn reduction wasn't quite as good, but was still rather encouraging! It's clearly very positive to see that analysts are forecasting the company will break even fairly soon Taking all the factors in this report into account, we're not at all worried about its cash burn, as the business appears well capitalized to spend as needs be. Notably, our data indicates that Pinterest insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

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)

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.

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. Thank you for reading.