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Move into home-grow market a small positive for Aurora Cannabis: Canaccord Genuity

Aurora Cannabis

Aurora CannabisA couple tuck-in acquisitions centered around the grow at home market won’t make a huge difference to the balance sheet of Aurora Cannabis (Aurora Cannabis Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSXV:ACB), but are small positives says Canaccord Genuity analyst Neil Maruoka.

This morning, Aurora Cannabis announced that it had completed the acquisition of cannabis home grow firms BC Northern Lights Enterprises Ltd. and Urban Cultivator Inc.

“These acquisitions add an excellent range of proprietary products to our expanding portfolio of customer offerings that meet the Aurora standard, and position us extremely well to capitalize on the opportunity in a distinct and rapidly growing segment of the market,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth. “We have always advocated for people’s ability to make their own choices and are very supportive of the Supreme Court’s Allard decision, which confirmed patients’ rights to grow their own medical cannabis. Similarly, we believe that, after implementation of consumer legalization in Canada, individuals who choose to grow their own cannabis should have access to cultivation solutions that are in controlled environments, safe, and can produce high-yielding, high-quality cannabis.BCNL indoor grow systems produce consistent, predictable and repeatable yields, while at the same time reducing the labour intensity normally associated with home growing. We believe the systems’ CSA-approved design, safety features, and odourless operation will generate strong resonance with our target markets, and securely address potential concerns among municipal governments. We are very pleased that both co-founders, Tarren and Linnea Wolfe, have agreed to stay on with Aurora and help drive our expansion strategy in the home grow market.”

Maruoka detailed how this is good, but not earth shaking news.

“We view both the BC Northern Lights and Urban Cultivator acquisitions as relatively modest, and targeted at a niche but growing opportunity,” the analyst said. “There are currently over 10,000 patients registered to grow cannabis at home in Canada, and we expect that Aurora will now be able to provide complete growing solutions to customers including starting plant materials. Combined, the two acquired companies have a $5 million revenue run-rate; total consideration for both deals is $4.35 million upon closing (including $3.85 million payable in cash and $0.5 million in Aurora common shares and warrants), and an additional $4 million of future consideration based on established EBITDA milestones. With almost $175 million of cash on its balance sheet, we believe these acquisitions represent small investments for Aurora.”

In a research update to clients today, Maruoka maintained his “Speculative Buy” rating and one-year price target of $3.25 on Aurora Cannabis, implying a return of 16.9 per cent at the time of publication.

Maruoka thinks Aurora will generate EBITDA of negative $3.7-million on revenue of $18.0-million in fiscal 2017. He expects those numbers will improve to EBITDA of positive $34.6-million on a topline of $71.0-million the following year.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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