Marijuana Worth Traps Do Exist: Right here Are three to Stay away from


Investors would have a tough time locating an business with extra impressive extended-term development prospective than legal cannabis. Right after creating close to $11 billion in worldwide sales final year, some on Wall Street foresee anyplace from $50 billion on the low finish to as substantially as $200 billion on the higher finish in worldwide sales by the finish of the upcoming decade.

What tends to make this development chance so fascinating is the truth that marijuana stocks have, pardon the cliché, gone up in smoke more than the previous six months. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF, the initially exchange-traded fund focused on cannabis, has lost almost half of its worth more than that time, which in investors’ eyes might be building some intriguing bargains all through the pot business.

On the other side of the coin, this decline in pot stocks could be building bona fide worth traps in an business exactly where the word “worth” would have been virtually laughable six months ago. Correct now, there are 3 cannabis stocks that appear to be extraordinary values, primarily based on their cost-to-book ratios, but are, in reality, absolutely nothing of the sort. Take into consideration these 3 marijuana worth traps as firms you’d be greatest off avoiding.

Image supply: Getty Pictures.

Aurora Cannabis

Amongst millennial investors, there is not a extra common firm on the planet than Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB). Aurora is projected to be Canada’s top marijuana producer, with the prospective for up to 700,000 kilos annually of peak output. It really is also the best pot stock in terms of international attain, with a increasing analysis or export presence in 25 nations, such as Canada. At a mere 1.three instances its book worth, Aurora Cannabis could appear like a screaming get. Having said that, a deeper dive would reveal otherwise.

Arguably the largest purpose investors must be leery of Aurora Cannabis is the company’s balance sheet. Right after producing effectively more than a dozen acquisitions more than the earlier 3 years, Aurora has racked up a frightening three.17 billion Canadian dollars in goodwill, or premium above and beyond tangible assets. When it really is achievable that the firm could be capable to recoup some of this goodwill by building the assets and monetizing the patents of the firms it really is acquired, the truth that 58% of the company’s total assets are comprised of goodwill is a key red flag.

Also of concern is the truth that Aurora Cannabis has a CA$230 million convertible note coming due in March. Even though the firm does have some money on hand, the conversion cost is effectively above exactly where Aurora is at the moment trading. This tends to make it far extra probably that the firm will have to redeem these notes with money, rather than stock, and also increases the likelihood of Aurora issuing extra stock to raise capital. More than the previous 5 years, Aurora’s outstanding share count has ballooned by 1 billion.

Lastly, it really is worrisome that Aurora missed its personal sales guidance in its fiscal fourth-quarter report, regardless of issuing that guidance a mere 5 weeks earlier. The firm continues to shed funds on an operating basis, and it really is nevertheless not creating good adjusted EBITDA, as was forecast through the calendar year initially quarter.

There is no doubt Aurora has extended-term prospective, but for now, it really is absolutely nothing extra than a worth trap.

A hand holding a magnifying glass over a company's balance sheet.

Image supply: Getty Pictures.

iAnthus Capital Holdings

In terms of cost-to-book ratio, no marijuana stock is more affordable than iAnthus Capital Holdings (OTC:ITHUF). Presently, iAnthus is valued at only 41% of its book worth.

Like Aurora, and quite substantially every single pot stock, there are redeeming qualities that are liable to attract investors to vertically integrated multistate operator iAnthus. Namely, it really is one particular of the biggest dispensary operators in legalized U.S. states, producing it one particular of the beneficiaries of the state-level legalization movement. iAnthus has a presence in 11 states, such as 27 open dispensaries, and licenses for about 5 dozen retail areas.

But not to sound like a broken record, the devil is in iAnthus’ balance sheet facts.

Earlier this year, the firm acquired MPX Bioceutical in what was the biggest U.S. marijuana deal to close at the time. However for shareholders, iAnthus recorded the majority of the worth of this deal as goodwill on its balance sheet. At the finish of the company’s June quarter, iAnthus had CA$440.7 million in goodwill and a further CA$179.1 million in intangible assets, recorded on its balance sheet out of CA$811 million in total assets. Place a further way, goodwill represents 54% of total assets, or a whopping 76% of total assets when combined with intangible assets. This appears like a writedown waiting to occur.

iAnthus also is not anyplace close to profitability. The company’s most up-to-date quarter featured a gross profit, ahead of fair-worth adjustments, of CA$9.two million, which compared to operating expenditures of CA$35.two million. Its aggressive expansion plans probably indicates ongoing close to-term losses and the possibility of extra share-primarily based dilution.

A large cannabis dispensary sign in front of a retail store.

Image supply: Getty Pictures.

MedMen Enterprises

Lastly, investors would be smart to tread lightly about vertically integrated multistate operator MedMen Enterprises (OTC:MMNFF), which is at the moment valued at 98% of its book worth and much less than 1 instances Wall Street’s consensus sales in 2020.

The MedMen investment thesis revolves about the company’s early-mover benefit in pick U.S. states, and its capacity to normalize the cannabis-acquiring expertise for extra affluent shoppers. MedMen is developing, or expects to develop, a plethora of retail areas in California and Florida, which must represent two of the 3 most profitable markets by total cannabis spending in 2024, according to the State of the Legal Cannabis Markets report. It currently has effectively more than a dozen open retail shops in California, and has licenses to open up to 35 shops in the Sunshine State. 

Having said that, MedMen is an absolute mess on the earnings front, which tends to make it an quick stock to stay clear of. By way of the initially nine months of fiscal 2019, MedMen lost $178.four million on an operating basis (MedMen reports in U.S. dollars) — and that is with the firm actively decreasing its basic and administrative expenditures.

What is extra, MedMen is in the approach of acquiring privately held vertically integrated dispensary operator PharmaCann in an all-stock deal. Even though this’ll double its presence to 12 states from six, it really is also going to increase MedMen’s close to-term expenditures and expansion fees. Even with an ongoing capital infusion from Gotham Green Partners, MedMen’s capital predicament appears somewhat dicey in the intermediate term.

Till MedMen demonstrates a significant turnaround on its quarterly revenue statements, this stock must stay off-limits for pot stock investors.


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