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We're Not Very Worried About Rallybio's (NASDAQ:RLYB) Cash Burn Rate

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There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, biotech and mining exploration companies often lose money for years before finding success with a new treatment or mineral discovery. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

So, the natural question for Rallybio (NASDAQ:RLYB) 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). Let's start with an examination of the business' cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for Rallybio

Does Rallybio Have A Long Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. As at June 2021, Rallybio had cash of US$113m and no debt. Importantly, its cash burn was US$38m over the trailing twelve months. So it had a cash runway of about 3.0 years from June 2021. That's decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

How Is Rallybio's Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Rallybio isn't currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. The skyrocketing cash burn up 103% year on year certainly tests our nerves. It's fair to say that sort of rate of increase cannot be maintained for very long, without putting pressure on the balance sheet. 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 Rallybio To Raise More Cash For Growth?

While Rallybio 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. 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. 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of US$544m, Rallybio's US$38m in cash burn equates to about 7.0% of its market value. That's a low proportion, so we figure the company would be able to raise more cash to fund growth, with a little dilution, or even to simply borrow some money.

Is Rallybio's Cash Burn A Worry?

As you can probably tell by now, we're not too worried about Rallybio's cash burn. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. While we must concede that its increasing cash burn is a bit worrying, the other factors mentioned in this article provide great comfort when it comes to the cash burn. Looking at all the measures in this article, together, we're not worried about its rate of cash burn; the company seems well on top of its medium-term spending needs. On another note, Rallybio has 4 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.

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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.