We Think Kodiak Sciences (NASDAQ:KOD) Needs To Drive Business Growth Carefully

Kodiak Sciences Inc. +0.52% Pre

Kodiak Sciences Inc.

KOD

3.89

3.89

+0.52%

0.00% Pre

There's no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. 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 should Kodiak Sciences (NASDAQ:KOD) 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'.

View our latest analysis for Kodiak Sciences

When Might Kodiak Sciences 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. As at September 2023, Kodiak Sciences had cash of US$346m and no debt. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$197m. Therefore, from September 2023 it had roughly 21 months of cash runway. 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. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqGM:KOD Debt to Equity History December 29th 2023

How Is Kodiak Sciences' Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Kodiak Sciences 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. While it hardly paints a picture of imminent growth, the fact that it has reduced its cash burn by 25% over the last year suggests some degree of prudence. 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 Kodiak Sciences To Raise More Cash For Growth?

While Kodiak Sciences is showing a solid reduction in its cash burn, it's still worth considering how easily it could raise more cash, even just to fuel faster growth. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. 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.

Kodiak Sciences has a market capitalisation of US$166m and burnt through US$197m last year, which is 119% of the company's market value. Given just how high that expenditure is, relative to the company's market value, we think there's an elevated risk of funding distress, and we would be very nervous about holding the stock.

Is Kodiak Sciences' Cash Burn A Worry?

Even though its cash burn relative to its market cap makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Kodiak Sciences' cash runway was relatively promising. Looking at the factors mentioned in this short report, we do think that its cash burn is a bit risky, and it does make us slightly nervous about the stock. On another note, Kodiak Sciences has 3 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies, and this list of stocks growth stocks (according to analyst forecasts)

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