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 should iCo Therapeutics (CVE:ICO) shareholders 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’. We’ll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.
How Long Is iCo Therapeutics’s Cash Runway?
A cash runway is defined as the length of time it would take a company to run out of money if it kept spending at its current rate of cash burn. In September 2019, iCo Therapeutics had CA$1.6m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was CA$1.8m. Therefore, from September 2019 it had roughly 10 months of cash runway. That’s quite a short cash runway, indicating the company must either reduce its annual cash burn or replenish its cash. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.
How Is iCo Therapeutics’s Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Because iCo Therapeutics 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. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 43%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. iCo Therapeutics makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.
How Hard Would It Be For iCo Therapeutics To Raise More Cash For Growth?
Since its cash burn is moving in the wrong direction, iCo Therapeutics shareholders may wish to think 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 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.
iCo Therapeutics has a market capitalisation of CA$12m and burnt through CA$1.8m last year, which is 16% 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.
Is iCo Therapeutics’s Cash Burn A Worry?
On this analysis of iCo Therapeutics’s cash burn, we think its cash burn relative to its market cap was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Summing up, we think the iCo Therapeutics’s cash burn is a risk, based on the factors we mentioned in this article. 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 iCo Therapeutics’s CEO gets paid each year.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at [email protected]. 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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