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We're Not Worried About Seagen's (NASDAQ:SGEN) Cash Burn

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. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

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

Check out our latest analysis for Seagen

How Long Is Seagen's Cash Runway?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. When Seagen last reported its balance sheet in December 2022, it had zero debt and cash worth US$1.7b. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$531m. That means it had a cash runway of about 3.3 years as of December 2022. Importantly, though, analysts think that Seagen will reach cashflow breakeven before then. In that case, it may never reach the end of its cash runway. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

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

How Well Is Seagen Growing?

Seagen reduced its cash burn by 3.7% during the last year, which points to some degree of discipline. On top of that, operating revenue was up 25%, making for a heartening combination On balance, we'd say the company is improving over time. 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.

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

There's no doubt Seagen seems to be in a fairly good position, when it comes to managing its cash burn, but even if it's only hypothetical, it's always worth asking how easily it could raise more money to fund growth. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash and drive growth. By comparing a company's annual cash burn to its total market capitalisation, we can estimate roughly how many shares it would have to issue in order to run the company for another year (at the same burn rate).

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Seagen has a market capitalisation of US$37b and burnt through US$531m last year, which is 1.4% of the company's market value. That means it could easily issue a few shares to fund more growth, and might well be in a position to borrow cheaply.

So, Should We Worry About Seagen's Cash Burn?

It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Seagen is burning through its cash. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. On this analysis its cash burn reduction was its weakest feature, but we are not concerned about it. It's clearly very positive to see that analysts are forecasting the company will break even fairly soon. After considering a range of factors in this article, we're pretty relaxed about its cash burn, since the company seems to be in a good position to continue to fund its growth. 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: Seagen insiders have been trading shares, according to our data. Click here to check whether insiders have been buying or selling.

Of course Seagen 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.

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