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We Think Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRTX) Can Afford To Drive Business Growth

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We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRTX) shareholders should 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. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

View our latest analysis for Mirati Therapeutics

Does Mirati Therapeutics Have A Long Cash Runway?

A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. As at June 2022, Mirati Therapeutics had cash of US$1.2b and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was US$496m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of about 2.4 years as of June 2022. Notably, analysts forecast that Mirati Therapeutics will break even (at a free cash flow level) in about 4 years. That means unless the company reduces its cash burn quickly, it may well look to raise more cash. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

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

How Well Is Mirati Therapeutics Growing?

At first glance it's a bit worrying to see that Mirati Therapeutics actually boosted its cash burn by 36%, year on year. On the other hand, the impressive revenue growth of 495% signals that the increased expenditure may well be yielding results. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money! We think it is growing rather well, upon reflection. 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 Mirati Therapeutics Raise Cash?

While Mirati Therapeutics seems to be in a decent position, we reckon it is still worth thinking about how easily it could raise more cash, if that proved desirable. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive 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$4.8b, Mirati Therapeutics' US$496m in cash burn equates to about 10% of its market value. As a result, we'd venture that the company could raise more cash for growth without much trouble, albeit at the cost of some dilution.

Is Mirati Therapeutics' Cash Burn A Worry?

It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Mirati Therapeutics is burning through its cash. 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. One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. Based on the factors mentioned in this article, we think its cash burn situation warrants some attention from shareholders, but we don't think they should be worried. Taking an in-depth view of risks, we've identified 3 warning signs for Mirati Therapeutics 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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