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 InMed Pharmaceuticals (TSE:IN) 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). The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
When Might InMed Pharmaceuticals Run Out Of Money?
A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When InMed Pharmaceuticals last reported its balance sheet in September 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth CA$15m. Importantly, its cash burn was CA$10m over the trailing twelve months. Therefore, from September 2019 it had roughly 17 months of cash runway. That's not too bad, but it's fair to say the end of the cash runway is in sight, unless cash burn reduces drastically. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is InMed Pharmaceuticals's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because InMed Pharmaceuticals 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. In fact, it ramped its spending strongly over the last year, increasing cash burn by 101%. That sort of spending growth rate can't continue for very long before it causes balance sheet weakness, generally speaking. 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 InMed Pharmaceuticals Raise Cash?
While InMed Pharmaceuticals does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash to fund 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).
InMed Pharmaceuticals has a market capitalisation of CA$65m and burnt through CA$10m last year, which is 16% of the company's 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 InMed Pharmaceuticals's Cash Burn?
Even though its increasing cash burn makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought InMed Pharmaceuticals's cash runway was relatively promising. We don't think its cash burn is particularly problematic, but after considering the range of factors in this article, we do think shareholders should be monitoring how it changes over time. When you don't have traditional metrics like earnings per share and free cash flow to value a company, many are extra motivated to consider qualitative factors such as whether insiders are buying or selling shares. Please Note: InMed Pharmaceuticals insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders have been buying or selling.
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