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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, the natural question for Acrivon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACRV) 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. We’ll start by comparing its cash burn with its cash reserves in order to calculate its cash runway.

View our latest analysis for Acrivon Therapeutics

How Long Is Acrivon Therapeutics’ Cash Runway?

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 Acrivon Therapeutics last reported its December 2023 balance sheet in March 2024, it had zero debt and cash worth US$127m. Looking at the last year, the company burnt through US$44m. So it had a cash runway of about 2.9 years from December 2023. Arguably, that’s a prudent and sensible length of runway to have. The image below shows how its cash balance has been changing over the last few years.

debt-equity-history-analysis

How Is Acrivon Therapeutics’ Cash Burn Changing Over Time?

Because Acrivon Therapeutics isn’t currently generating revenue, we consider it an early-stage business. Nonetheless, we can still examine its cash burn trajectory as part of our assessment of its cash burn situation. Over the last year its cash burn actually increased by 36%, which suggests that management are increasing investment in future growth, but not too quickly. However, the company’s true cash runway will therefore be shorter than suggested above, if spending continues to increase. 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.

Can Acrivon Therapeutics Raise More Cash Easily?

While Acrivon Therapeutics does have a solid cash runway, its cash burn trajectory may have some shareholders thinking ahead to when the company may need to raise more cash. Generally speaking, a listed business can raise new cash through issuing shares or taking on debt. One of the main advantages held by publicly listed companies is that they can sell shares to investors to raise cash and fund 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).

Acrivon Therapeutics has a market capitalisation of US$143m and burnt through US$44m last year, which is 31% of the company’s market value. That’s fairly notable cash burn, so if the company had to sell shares to cover the cost of another year’s operations, shareholders would suffer some costly dilution.

So, Should We Worry About Acrivon Therapeutics’ Cash Burn?

On this analysis of Acrivon Therapeutics’ cash burn, we think its cash runway was reassuring, while its increasing cash burn has us a bit worried. While we’re the kind of investors who are always a bit concerned about the risks involved with cash burning companies, the metrics we have discussed in this article leave us relatively comfortable about Acrivon Therapeutics’ situation. Taking a deeper dive, we’ve spotted 4 warning signs for Acrivon Therapeutics you should be aware of, and 2 of them are significant.

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)

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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