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We're Hopeful That Revance Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RVNC) Will Use Its Cash Wisely

Simply Wall St

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 Revance Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RVNC) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. We'll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

View our latest analysis for Revance Therapeutics

How Long Is Revance Therapeutics'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 June 2019, Revance Therapeutics had cash of US$242m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$103m. That means it had a cash runway of about 2.3 years as of June 2019. Importantly, analysts think that Revance Therapeutics will reach cashflow breakeven in 4 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.

NasdaqGM:RVNC Historical Debt, October 8th 2019

How Is Revance Therapeutics's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

In the last year, Revance Therapeutics did book revenue of US$3.1m, but its revenue from operations was less, at just US$3.1m. We don't think that's enough operating revenue for us to understand too much from revenue growth rates, since the company is growing off a low base. So we'll focus on the cash burn, today. With the cash burn rate up 2.3% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. 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.

Can Revance Therapeutics Raise More Cash Easily?

Since its cash burn is increasing (albeit only slightly), Revance Therapeutics shareholders should still be mindful of the possibility it will require more cash in the future. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of US$548m, Revance Therapeutics's US$103m in cash burn equates to about 19% of its 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.

So, Should We Worry About Revance Therapeutics's Cash Burn?

Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Revance Therapeutics's cash runway was relatively promising. Shareholders can take heart from the fact that analysts are forecasting it will reach breakeven. While we're the kind of investors who are always a bit concerned about the risks involved with cash burning companies, the metrics we have discussed in this article leave us relatively comfortable about Revance Therapeutics's situation. While we always like to monitor cash burn for early stage companies, qualitative factors such as the CEO pay can also shed light on the situation. Click here to see free what the Revance Therapeutics CEO is paid..

Of course Revance Therapeutics may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.