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We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. For example, Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX) shareholders have done very well over the last year, with the share price soaring by 113%. 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 notwithstanding the buoyant share price, we think it's well worth asking whether Celldex Therapeutics' cash burn is too risky. 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). The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
When Might Celldex Therapeutics Run Out Of Money?
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 September 2021, Celldex Therapeutics had cash of US$423m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$53m. That means it had a cash runway of about 8.0 years as of September 2021. While this is only one measure of its cash burn situation, it certainly gives us the impression that holders have nothing to worry about. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Well Is Celldex Therapeutics Growing?
Some investors might find it troubling that Celldex Therapeutics is actually increasing its cash burn, which is up 11% in the last year. But looking on the bright side, its revenue gained by 79%, lending some credence to the growth narrative. Of course, with spend going up shareholders will want to see fast growth continue. It seems to be growing nicely. 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 Hard Would It Be For Celldex Therapeutics To Raise More Cash For Growth?
There's no doubt Celldex Therapeutics 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. 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).
Celldex Therapeutics has a market capitalisation of US$1.7b and burnt through US$53m last year, which is 3.0% 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 Celldex Therapeutics' Cash Burn Situation?
As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Celldex Therapeutics' cash burn. In particular, we think its revenue growth stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. While its increasing cash burn wasn't great, the other factors mentioned in this article more than make up for weakness on that measure. 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. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 4 warning signs for Celldex Therapeutics (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.
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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.