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We're Hopeful That Cabaletta Bio (NASDAQ:CABA) Will Use Its Cash Wisely

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.

So, the natural question for Cabaletta Bio (NASDAQ:CABA) 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). First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.

View our latest analysis for Cabaletta Bio

How Long Is Cabaletta Bio'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. In September 2020, Cabaletta Bio had US$117m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was US$26m over the trailing twelve months. That means it had a cash runway of about 4.5 years as of September 2020. A runway of this length affords the company the time and space it needs to develop the business. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

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

How Is Cabaletta Bio's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Cabaletta Bio 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. The skyrocketing cash burn up 148% year on year certainly tests our nerves. That sort of ramp in expenditure is no doubt intended to generate worthwhile long term returns. 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 Cabaletta Bio Raise Cash?

Given its cash burn trajectory, Cabaletta Bio shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Many companies end up issuing new shares to fund future 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).

Cabaletta Bio's cash burn of US$26m is about 7.6% of its US$345m market capitalisation. Given that is a rather small percentage, it would probably be really easy for the company to fund another year's growth by issuing some new shares to investors, or even by taking out a loan.

Is Cabaletta Bio's Cash Burn A Worry?

It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Cabaletta Bio is burning through its cash. In particular, we think its cash runway stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While we must concede that its increasing cash burn is a bit worrying, the other factors mentioned in this article provide great comfort when it comes to the cash burn. 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 2 warning signs for Cabaletta Bio (of which 1 is potentially serious!) 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.