Net cash is 73% of market cap
Cordlife's FY20 revenue was not spared the impact of the pandemic but the company proved its strong cash generation fundamentals.

Cash: Where it’s parked

 (S$'000)

31 Dec 2020

31 Dec 2019

Short-term investments*

19,821

13,938

Fixed deposits
-- (current asset)

-- (non-current asset)

10,873

9,945

8,484

5,466

Pledged fixed deposits

10,086

9,843

Cash and cash equivalents

25,938

14,784

Total

75,202

53,976

Borrowings

3,988

4,298

Net cash

71,214

49,678

*Short-term investments mainly comprise investments in money market funds and Class A Redeemable Convertible Note from CRC.

Thus while revenue declined 17.8% y-o-y to S$50.6 million and net profit came in at S$6.6 million (+1.4% y-o-y), its net cash position strengthened to S$71.2 million.

That was a S$22 million jump, mainly driven by net operating cashflow of S$15.9 million.

For perspective, Cordlife's market cap is S$97 million (stock price: 38 cents). 

The high net cashpile represents 73% of the market cap.

Excluding cash, the stock's PE is an attractive 3.9X. 

This is obviously speculative but given a year or two, Cordlife's cash could get closer to 100% of its market cap, subject of course to assumptions such as unchanged stock price, no M&A deals and no deterioration in business.

cordlife biz3.21
Here is a snapshot of how the increase in total cash and cash equivalents, fixed deposits and short-term investments came about:

CFOChooBoonYongCFO Choo Boon Yong• net cash generated from operating activities stood at S$15.9 million and

• proceeds from the sale of long-term investments amounted to S$5.1 million. These were unquoted shares of CellResearch Corporation sold back to the vendors

This was offset by: 

• purchase of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets of S$1.4 million and 
• dividend payment of S$2.5 million and
• repayment of interest-bearing borrowings of S$310,000.

Stock price 

38 c

52-week range

27 - 42 c

PE 

14.7

Market cap

S$96.7 m

Shares outstanding

254.5 m

Dividend 
yield 

2.37%

1-year return

-0.1%

Source: Bloomberg

While Cordlife pivoted to digital marketing in its core cord blood banking business, it worked for months in the background to leverage its core competencies to create a brand new revenue stream.

Finally, this month, it announced that it had secured a licence from the Singapore Ministry of Health to offer what it called OptiQ.

OPTIQ and partnership with private eye doctors

This is how it works:

• Patients go to see their eye doctor to undergo a certain refractive eye surgery technique to correct their myopia or astigmatism or other eye condition.

The technique is SMILE, an acronym for SMall Incision Lenticule Extraction, and differs from the better-known LASIK. (See: https://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/smile.htm)

• A laser carves out a slice of the cornea (known as lenticule).


• Normally, this lenticule would be discarded and the patient goes home with the eye condition treated.

• Instead, under the OptiQ programme, the lenticule is sent to Cordlife (whose facility is capable of storing the lenticules at below minus 150 deg C) and stored.

Potentially, the same lenticule can be implanted in the same patient to treat his presbyopia and other ocular conditions in the future.

Smile LasikSource: www.allaboutvision.com

The target customers of OptiQ would be adults in their 20s and early 30s, who want to use their lenticule to correct the inevitable onset of presbyopia when they are past the age of 40.  

Cordlife is offering two payment plans: either a $4,500 upfront payment for 20 years' storage, or a $1,800 payment for first year and $180 per year for the next 19 years of storage.


The technology behind OptiQ was invented by Professors Donald Tan and Jodhbir Mehta from Singapore Eye Research Institute (“SERI”), the research arm of Singapore National Eye Centre.

The expertise to store and re-implant a person’s corneal lenticule was developed by SERI and patented by Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd. Cordlife is the exclusive license holder of this patent.

Ms Tan Poh Lan, Cordlife’s Group CEO, said: “Cordlife has accumulated 20 years of experience in the banking of biological materials so offering the storage of corneal lenticules is a natural extension of our services. Our partnership with SERI fits perfectly with our commitment to providing innovative healthcare services.”

Cordlife, which is leveraging on its current facilities in Singapore and overseas, is not incurring new capex for OptiQ nor requiring additional manpower.

Cordlife is the first company in Asia to offer a "corneal lenticule" banking service. 

How big is the market?

Ms Tan said an estimated 25,000 lenticular extractions are done a year in the markets that Cordlife currently operates in, including about 2,000 in Singapore. 

"Cord blood banking is still our core business, and we are still focusing on that, working very hard to increase our penetration rate because it is really just the tip of the iceberg in many of the countries," added Ms Tan.

For more, see press release on OptiQ here.

Also, Cordlife's FY20 results presentation here. 


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