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We're Excited To See How Biotec Pharmacon (OB:BIOTEC) Uses Its Cash Hoard To Grow

Simply Wall St

Even when a business is losing money, it's possible for shareholders to make money if they buy a good business at the right price. 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. But while history lauds those rare successes, those that fail are often forgotten; who remembers Pets.com?

Given this risk, we thought we'd take a look at whether Biotec Pharmacon (OB:BIOTEC) shareholders should 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'. The first step is to compare its cash burn with its cash reserves, to give us its 'cash runway'.

See our latest analysis for Biotec Pharmacon

When Might Biotec Pharmacon 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 Biotec Pharmacon last reported its balance sheet in September 2019, it had zero debt and cash worth kr22m. In the last year, its cash burn was kr6.0m. That means it had a cash runway of about 3.6 years as of September 2019. Notably, however, the one analyst we see covering the stock thinks that Biotec Pharmacon will break even (at a free cash flow level) before then. In that case, it may never reach the end of its cash runway. You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

OB:BIOTEC Historical Debt, January 23rd 2020

How Well Is Biotec Pharmacon Growing?

Happily, Biotec Pharmacon is travelling in the right direction when it comes to its cash burn, which is down 76% over the last year. And it could also show revenue growth of 13% in the same period. We think it is growing rather well, upon reflection. 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 Biotec Pharmacon Raise Cash?

We are certainly impressed with the progress Biotec Pharmacon has made over the last year, but it is also worth considering how costly it would be if it wanted to raise more cash to fund faster growth. 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.

Since it has a market capitalisation of kr296m, Biotec Pharmacon's kr6.0m in cash burn equates to about 2.0% of its 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 Biotec Pharmacon's Cash Burn?

It may already be apparent to you that we're relatively comfortable with the way Biotec Pharmacon is burning through its cash. For example, we think its cash runway suggests that the company is on a good path. Its revenue growth wasn't quite as good, but was still rather encouraging! There's no doubt that shareholders can take a lot of heart from the fact that at least one analyst is forecasting it will reach breakeven before too long. After taking into account the various metrics mentioned in this report, we're pretty comfortable with how the company is spending its cash. Notably, our data indicates that Biotec Pharmacon insiders have been trading the shares. You can discover if they are buyers or sellers by clicking on this link.

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)

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.