GMP Securities analyst Robert Fagan recently toured one of Curaleaf Holdings’ (Curaleaf Holdings Stock Quote, Chart CSE:CURA) two cannabis operations in Florida and came away impressed by the company’s expansion progress, high level of production automation and collective growing expertise.
In a research update Thursday, the analyst reiterated his “Buy” recommendation and C$20.00 target price for CURA.
Vertically integrated Curaleaf currently has operations in 12 states, including 42 dispensaries, 12 cultivation sites and ten processing sites. The company has been building out operations on five acres in Mount Dora, Florida, one of two facilities in the state, where Curaleaf now has approximately 90,000 square feet of production area fully operational (the company has a second 25,000 sq. ft. facility in Florida).
Fagan estimates CURA’s total capacity in Florida at approximately 19 tonnes, enough to support between $180 and 200 million of retail sales. The analyst says Curaleaf looks to be on-track to expand Mt. Dora to approx. 250,000 square feet by the fourth quarter of this year, ramping up production to about 45 tonnes.
Fagan says the Mt. Dora facility was one of the most automated he’s seen to date among US operators, with management highlighting the fact that its production costs are averaging about $1.25 per gram, which could decrease to about $0.70 per gram based on yield improvements and space optimization and fare well against the industry average cost levels of between $1.50 to $2.00 per gram. (All figures in US dollars unless noted otherwise.)
“We left the Mt. Dora tour confident that CURA has the right cultivation infrastructure and talent in place to support existing operations and future growth plans in FL. To this end, CURA is ready to capitalize on the start of smokeable flower sales expected in coming weeks (a strong short- term catalyst), with some inventory of related products already on-hand,” writes Fagan.
The analyst also notes that the expertise of Mt. Dora’s cultivation team is “quite remarkable,” with a collective 40 years of growing experiences, all recruited from Colorado.
Fagan is projecting CURA to generate EBITDA in fiscal 2019 of $116.4 million on revenue of $312.5 million and EBITDA in fiscal 2020 of $301.9 million on a top line of $614.3 million. His C$20.00 target represents a projected 12-month return of 117.9 per cent at the time of publication.