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Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. 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, the natural question for ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGN) 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.
How Long Is ImmunoGen's 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. As at December 2020, ImmunoGen had cash of US$294m and such minimal debt that we can ignore it for the purposes of this analysis. In the last year, its cash burn was US$121m. Therefore, from December 2020 it had 2.4 years of cash runway. Importantly, analysts think that ImmunoGen will reach cashflow breakeven in 3 years. Essentially, that means the company will either reduce its cash burn, or else require more cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Well Is ImmunoGen Growing?
Some investors might find it troubling that ImmunoGen is actually increasing its cash burn, which is up 32% in the last year. Having said that, it's revenue is up a very solid 61% in the last year, so there's plenty of reason to believe in the growth story. Of course, with spend going up shareholders will want to see fast growth continue. We think it is growing rather well, upon reflection. 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.
Can ImmunoGen Raise More Cash Easily?
There's no doubt ImmunoGen 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. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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.
ImmunoGen has a market capitalisation of US$2.1b and burnt through US$121m last year, which is 5.9% 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.
How Risky Is ImmunoGen's Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about ImmunoGen's cash burn. For example, we think its revenue growth suggests that the company is on a good path. Although its increasing cash burn does give us reason for pause, the other metrics we discussed in this article form a positive picture overall. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it 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. Taking an in-depth view of risks, we've identified 3 warning signs for ImmunoGen that you should be aware of before investing.
If you would prefer to check out another company with better fundamentals, then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt or this list of stocks which are all forecast to grow.
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.
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