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We're Not Very Worried About Aravive's (NASDAQ:ARAV) Cash Burn Rate

Simply Wall St
·4 min read

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So, the natural question for Aravive (NASDAQ:ARAV) 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'.

See our latest analysis for Aravive

How Long Is Aravive'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. Aravive has such a small amount of debt that we'll set it aside, and focus on the US$65m in cash it held at December 2019. Importantly, its cash burn was US$21m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of about 3.1 years from December 2019. There's no doubt that this is a reassuringly long runway. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

NasdaqGS:ARAV Historical Debt March 30th 2020
NasdaqGS:ARAV Historical Debt March 30th 2020

How Well Is Aravive Growing?

We reckon the fact that Aravive managed to shrink its cash burn by 29% over the last year is rather encouraging. But the operating revenue growth of 247% was even better. We think it is growing rather well, upon reflection. 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 Aravive Raise More Cash Easily?

While Aravive seems to be in a decent position, we reckon it is still worth thinking about how easily it could raise more cash, if that proved desirable. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. 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).

Since it has a market capitalisation of US$88m, Aravive's US$21m in cash burn equates to about 24% of its market value. That's fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year's operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.

So, Should We Worry About Aravive's Cash Burn?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Aravive's cash burn. For example, we think its revenue growth suggests that the company is on a good path. Although its cash burn relative to its market cap does give us reason for pause, the other metrics we discussed in this article form a positive picture overall. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 6 warning signs for Aravive you should be aware of, and 2 of them shouldn't be ignored.

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 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.