Now that shares of ABcann Global Corporation (TSXV: ABCN) are trading on the venture arm of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the company is creating more buzz than ever. On the same day it launched its initial public offering (IPO) (May 4), industry analysts PI Financial initiated coverage of the stock with a decidedly bullish report (http://nnw.fm/zcgG2) on the company. PI has put a “Buy” rating on the stock and set a one-year price target of $2.25, implying a return of well over 100 percent. The investment bank backs up this sunny prognosis with an in-depth look at ABcann’s value chain and Canada’s cannabis industry, by some accounts set to grow to $8 billion in sales by 2024.
ABcann Global recently acquired all the outstanding stock of ABcann Medicinals, a Canadian medical marijuana company licensed to carry on business as a producer and marketer of medical cannabis. ABcann Medicinals has strong fundamentals. It was a first mover in the Canadian cannabis space, obtaining a cultivation license in March 2014, just six months after Health Canada began inviting applications. In addition, it has collaborated with the University of Guelph in studies of the cannabis cultivation process. Consequently, the company has developed substantial institutional expertise, particularly in controlling quality and production costs and is now poised to add value in those areas and develop a competitive advantage.
ABcann’s institutional knowledge is already bearing results. The company’s computer-controlled growing environment produces optimum yields of 250 grams per square foot per annum, based on six crops a year. The industry interval is 60 grams on the greenhouse side, and 138 grams for indoor growers. ABcann’s growing technology controls a variety of variables, including air quality, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, water quality and volume, light quality, temperature, humidity, and naturally enough, nutrition. As a result, the company is able maintain consistency in its product and to escape the ravages of pests with the attendant evil of employing toxic pesticides. In an interview earlier this year (http://nnw.fm/1llH4), CEO Aaron Keay revealed that one major advantage over its competitors that Abcann has, is its ability to produce consistent quality as it scales up.
ABcann has that potential to scale up. Its initial facility at Vanluven, currently producing 1,000 kilos annually, is expected to double production to 2,000 kilos by the end of 2017. The company also controls the 65-acre Kimmett property intended for further expansion. Health Canada has granted a license to build a 70,000-sq-ft facility, which is expected to produce 10,000 to 20,000 kilos per annum depending on whether single or double-layered grow rooms are constructed.
PI Financial expects ABcann Global shares to provide investors with a return of 181 percent based on the target price of $2.25. The target represents an EV/EBITDA of 15x based on its FY19 estimates. EV is enterprise value; EBITDA is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
PI Financial’s 15x multiple, while large, is not far-fetched, as a look at ABcann’s peers shows. Shares of SupremePharma (XCNQ: SL) soared a stupendous 1,364% after their launch and the company’s market cap is currently 232 million. Aurora’s (TSXV: ACB) shares went up 887% after they began trading publicly and the company is now valued at $836 million. Shares of Aphria (TSE: APH) rose 938% after their debut; Aphria’s market cap is now $854 million. And shares of Canopy Growth (TSE: WEED) climbed 711% after the company’s IPO. Its valuation now stands at a whopping $1.38 billion. Canadian cannabis valuations appear to be taking to the skies. Could ABcann be next?
For more information, please visit www.ABcann.ca
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