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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, although software-as-a-service business Salesforce.com lost money for years while it grew recurring revenue, if you held shares since 2005, you'd have done very well indeed. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?
Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Capricor Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CAPR) shareholders should be worried about its cash burn. In this report, we will consider the company's annual negative free cash flow, henceforth referring to it as the 'cash burn'. Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.
When Might Capricor 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. In September 2019, Capricor Therapeutics had US$6.8m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$8.8m. Therefore, from September 2019 it had roughly 9 months of cash runway. To be frank, this kind of short runway puts us on edge, as it indicates the company must reduce its cash burn significantly, or else raise cash imminently. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Well Is Capricor Therapeutics Growing?
It was fairly positive to see that Capricor Therapeutics reduced its cash burn by 33% during the last year. Unfortunately, however, operating revenue declined by 7.8% during the period. Considering the factors above, the company doesn’t fare badly when it comes to assessing how it is changing over time. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
How Hard Would It Be For Capricor Therapeutics To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Since Capricor Therapeutics revenue has been falling, the market will likely be considering how it can raise more cash if need be. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive growth. We can compare a company's cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one year's operations.
Capricor Therapeutics has a market capitalisation of US$6.0m and burnt through US$8.8m last year, which is 147% of the company's market value. Given just how high that expenditure is, relative to the company's market value, we think there's an elevated risk of funding distress, and we would be very nervous about holding the stock.
How Risky Is Capricor Therapeutics's Cash Burn Situation?
Even though its cash burn relative to its market cap makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Capricor Therapeutics's cash burn reduction was relatively promising. After looking at that range of measures, we think shareholders should be extremely attentive to how the company is using its cash, as the cash burn makes us uncomfortable. We think it's very important to consider the cash burn for loss making companies, but other considerations such as the amount the CEO is paid can also enhance your understanding of the business. You can click here to see what Capricor Therapeutics's CEO gets paid each year.
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)
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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