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We're Keeping An Eye On Evofem Biosciences's (NASDAQ:EVFM) Cash Burn Rate

Simply Wall St

There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

So should Evofem Biosciences (NASDAQ:EVFM) shareholders 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. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for Evofem Biosciences

How Long Is Evofem Biosciences'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 2019, Evofem Biosciences had US$36m in cash, and was debt-free. Importantly, its cash burn was US$52m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from September 2019 it had roughly 8 months of cash runway. That's quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

NasdaqCM:EVFM Historical Debt, March 9th 2020

How Is Evofem Biosciences's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Evofem Biosciences didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. It seems likely that the business is content with its current spending, as the cash burn rate stayed steady over the last twelve months. 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 Evofem Biosciences Raise More Cash Easily?

Since its cash burn is increasing (albeit only slightly), Evofem Biosciences shareholders should still be mindful of the possibility it will require more cash in the future. 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 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.

Evofem Biosciences's cash burn of US$52m is about 18% of its US$281m market capitalisation. 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.

So, Should We Worry About Evofem Biosciences's Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Evofem Biosciences's cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its cash runway has us a bit worried. Looking at the factors mentioned in this short report, we do think that its cash burn is a bit risky, and it does make us slightly nervous about the stock. 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 Evofem Biosciences CEO is paid..

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.