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We're Not Very Worried About LiveRamp Holdings's (NYSE:RAMP) Cash Burn Rate

Simply Wall St

Just because a business does not make any money, does not mean that the stock will go down. 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. Having said that, unprofitable companies are risky because they could potentially burn through all their cash and become distressed.

So should LiveRamp Holdings (NYSE:RAMP) shareholders be worried about its 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). Let's start with an examination of the business's cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for LiveRamp Holdings

How Long Is LiveRamp Holdings's Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is the amount of time it would take to burn through its cash reserves at its current cash burn rate. In June 2019, LiveRamp Holdings had US$1.0b in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$506m. That means it had a cash runway of about 2.0 years as of June 2019. Importantly, though, analysts think that LiveRamp Holdings will reach cashflow breakeven before then. If that happens, then the length of its cash runway, today, would become a moot point. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

NYSE:RAMP Historical Debt, October 17th 2019

Is LiveRamp Holdings's Revenue Growing?

Given that LiveRamp Holdings actually had positive free cash flow last year, before burning cash this year, we'll focus on its operating revenue to get a measure of the business trajectory. It's nice to see that operating revenue was up 30% in the last year. 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.

How Hard Would It Be For LiveRamp Holdings To Raise More Cash For Growth?

Notwithstanding LiveRamp Holdings's revenue growth, it is still important to consider how it could raise more money, if it needs to. Issuing new shares, or taking on debt, are the most common ways for a listed company to raise more money for its business. 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.

LiveRamp Holdings has a market capitalisation of US$2.7b and burnt through US$506m last year, which is 19% of the company's market value. 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 LiveRamp Holdings's Cash Burn?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about LiveRamp Holdings's cash burn. In particular, we think its revenue growth stands out as evidence that the company is well on top of its spending. Its weak point is its cash burn relative to its market cap, but even that wasn't too bad! One real positive is that analysts are forecasting that the company will reach breakeven. 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. 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: LiveRamp Holdings insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Of course LiveRamp Holdings may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.