There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.
So should Reneo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RPHM) 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). The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.
Does Reneo Pharmaceuticals Have A Long 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 2022, Reneo Pharmaceuticals had US$116m in cash, and was debt-free. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$42m. Therefore, from September 2022 it had 2.8 years of cash runway. 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.
How Is Reneo Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Reneo Pharmaceuticals didn't record any revenue over the last year, indicating that it's an early stage company still developing its business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. With the cash burn rate up 25% in the last year, it seems that the company is ratcheting up investment in the business over time. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but investors should be mindful of the fact that will shorten the cash runway. Clearly, however, the crucial factor is whether the company will grow its business going forward. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.
Can Reneo Pharmaceuticals Raise More Cash Easily?
Given its cash burn trajectory, Reneo Pharmaceuticals shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. 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.
Reneo Pharmaceuticals' cash burn of US$42m is about 78% of its US$54m market capitalisation. Given how large that cash burn is, relative to the market value of the entire company, we'd consider it to be a high risk stock, with the real possibility of extreme dilution.
So, Should We Worry About Reneo Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn?
On this analysis of Reneo Pharmaceuticals' cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its cash burn relative to its market cap has us a bit worried. We don't think its cash burn is particularly problematic, but after considering the range of factors in this article, we do think shareholders should be monitoring how it changes over time. Separately, we looked at different risks affecting the company and spotted 4 warning signs for Reneo Pharmaceuticals (of which 1 shouldn't be ignored!) you should know about.
Of course Reneo Pharmaceuticals 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here