We're Hopeful That Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AGIO) Will Use Its Cash Wisely

Simply Wall St
·4-min read

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 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 the harsh reality is that very many loss making companies burn through all their cash and go bankrupt.

So should Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AGIO) shareholders 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'.

View our latest analysis for Agios Pharmaceuticals

When Might Agios Pharmaceuticals Run Out Of Money?

A company's cash runway is calculated by dividing its cash hoard by its cash burn. In June 2020, Agios Pharmaceuticals had US$790m in cash, and was debt-free. In the last year, its cash burn was US$370m. So it had a cash runway of about 2.1 years from June 2020. That's decent, giving the company a couple years to develop its business. Depicted below, you can see how its cash holdings have changed over time.

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

How Well Is Agios Pharmaceuticals Growing?

At first glance it's a bit worrying to see that Agios Pharmaceuticals actually boosted its cash burn by 9.7%, year on year. But looking on the bright side, its revenue gained by 83%, lending some credence to the growth narrative. Of course, with spend going up shareholders will want to see fast growth continue. It seems to be growing nicely. While the past is always worth studying, it is the future that matters most of all. So you might want to take a peek at how much the company is expected to grow in the next few years.

How Easily Can Agios Pharmaceuticals Raise Cash?

There's no doubt Agios Pharmaceuticals 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 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 US$2.7b, Agios Pharmaceuticals' US$370m in cash burn equates to about 14% of its market value. Given that situation, it's fair to say the company wouldn't have much trouble raising more cash for growth, but shareholders would be somewhat diluted.

So, Should We Worry About Agios Pharmaceuticals' Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Agios Pharmaceuticals' cash burn, we think its revenue growth was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. Considering all the factors discussed in this article, we're not overly concerned about the company's cash burn, although we do think shareholders should keep an eye on how it develops. Its important for readers to be cognizant of the risks that can affect the company's operations, and we've picked out 3 warning signs for Agios Pharmaceuticals that investors should know when investing in the stock.

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)

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. 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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