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We can readily understand why investors are attracted to unprofitable companies. 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. Nonetheless, only a fool would ignore the risk that a loss making company burns through its cash too quickly.
So, the natural question for TFF Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TFFP) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. First, we'll determine its cash runway by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves.
When Might TFF Pharmaceuticals Run Out Of Money?
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. When TFF Pharmaceuticals last reported its balance sheet in December 2021, it had zero debt and cash worth US$34m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$30m. So it had a cash runway of approximately 13 months from December 2021. While that cash runway isn't too concerning, sensible holders would be peering into the distance, and considering what happens if the company runs out of cash. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.
How Is TFF Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?
Whilst it's great to see that TFF Pharmaceuticals has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced US$88k, so we don't think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. As a result, we think it's a bit early to focus on the revenue growth, so we'll limit ourselves to looking at how the cash burn is changing over time. During the last twelve months, its cash burn actually ramped up 72%. While this spending increase is no doubt intended to drive growth, if the trend continues the company's cash runway will shrink very quickly. 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.
How Easily Can TFF Pharmaceuticals Raise Cash?
Given its cash burn trajectory, TFF Pharmaceuticals shareholders may wish to consider how easily it could raise more cash, despite its solid cash runway. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. 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$108m, TFF Pharmaceuticals' US$30m in cash burn equates to about 28% of its market value. That's not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another year's growth at the current share price, you'd likely witness fairly costly dilution.
So, Should We Worry About TFF Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn?
On this analysis of TFF Pharmaceuticals' cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Summing up, we think the TFF Pharmaceuticals' cash burn is a risk, based on the factors we mentioned in this article. Taking a deeper dive, we've spotted 3 warning signs for TFF Pharmaceuticals you should be aware of, and 1 of them is significant.
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)
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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.