2 Marijuana Stocks Better Than Aurora Cannabis
Here's why long-term growth investors can buy shares of cannabis giants Green Thumb and Verano given the recent pullback in stock prices.
Jan. 25, 2022

Canadian marijuana producers such as Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ: ACB) are wrestling with a number of structural issues, that include competition from a thriving black market, overvalued acquisitions, mounting losses, billion-dollar goodwill write-downs, shareholder dilution, and rising inventory levels, among others.

In fact, cumulative operating losses for Aurora Cannabis in the last four years have surged over $1.1 billion. Comparatively, cannabis producers in the U.S. are racing towards profitability and entering new markets driven by the recent wave of legalization in the country.

Aurora Cannabis will remain unprofitable in the near future and is likely to raise additional capital to support its cash burn, making the stock a high-risk bet despite its depressed valuation.

Most marijuana stocks have underperformed the broader markets in the past year. However, the ongoing sell-off in the equity markets has sent growth stocks significantly lower, allowing you to buy the dip.

Here, we look at two beaten-down marijuana stocks that are fundamentally stronger than Aurora Cannabis.

Verano Holdings

A vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator in the U.S., Verano Holdings (OTCMKTS: VRNOF) is valued at a market cap of $2.28 billion. It has a presence in 15 states in the U.S. and is operational in 12 states. The company owns 12 production facilities spanning over one million square feet, in addition to 93 operating retail locations.

Verano increased sales by 196% year over year to $355 million in 2020. It reported an adjusted EBITDA of $170 million, indicating a margin of 48%. In the last three quarters, its sales have already surpassed $500 million allowing Verano to end the year with more than $850 million in sales, given Wall Street expects revenue of $347 million in Q4.

Verano stock is trading at an attractive multiple and has a price to 2021 sales ratio of less than 3x which is really cheap given its growth rates. Analysts tracking the stock have a 12-month average price target of $42 which is 280% higher than its current trading price.

Green Thumb Industries

One of the largest marijuana producers in the world, shares of Green Thumb Industries (OTCMKTS: GTBIF) are down 40% in the last year, valuing the company at a market cap of $4.3 billion. Green Thumb has a presence in 15 states in the U.S. with 73 operational dispensaries, with an option to increase its count to 114 dispensaries.

In the third quarter of 2021, Green Thumb sales rose by 49% year over year to $233.7 million while net income more than doubled to $20.8 million. It was the company's fifth consecutive quarter of profitability.

Green Thumb opened 15 additional stores in the last year and continues to expand aggressively. Analysts expect sales to rise by 100% to $1.11 billion in 2021 and by 28% to $1.43 billion in 2022. Comparatively, its adjusted earnings per share is forecast to rise from $0.07 in 2020 to $0.64 in 2022.

Green Thumb is valued at a forward price to 2022 sales multiple of 3x and a price to earnings multiple of 29x. Wall Street expects Green Thumb stock to double in the next 12-months given consensus price estimates.

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