- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
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, Check-Cap (NASDAQ:CHEK) shareholders have done very well over the last year, with the share price soaring by 110%. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.
Given its strong share price performance, we think it's worthwhile for Check-Cap shareholders to consider whether its cash burn is concerning. 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). First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
When Might Check-Cap Run Out Of Money?
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 Check-Cap last reported its balance sheet in March 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$34m. In the last year, its cash burn was US$13m. So it had a cash runway of about 2.5 years from March 2021. That's decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.
How Is Check-Cap's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because Check-Cap isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage 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 4.7% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. 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. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
How Hard Would It Be For Check-Cap To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Since its cash burn is increasing (albeit only slightly), Check-Cap shareholders should still be mindful of the possibility it will require more cash in the future. 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.
Check-Cap has a market capitalisation of US$90m and burnt through US$13m last year, which is 15% of the company's 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.
Is Check-Cap's Cash Burn A Worry?
On this analysis of Check-Cap's cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. 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. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for Check-Cap (of which 2 shouldn't be ignored!) 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 editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.