M Partners analyst Paul Piotrowski tells investors to look for SLANG Worldwide (SLANG Worldwide Stock Quote, Chart, News CSE:SLNG) to rally on news clarifying the nature of a vaping-related illness in the United States.
The analyst delivered an update to clients on the cannabis products company on Monday, reiterating his “Buy” rating and C$2.00 per share target price, which represented a 12-month projected return of 285 per cent at the time of publication.
Last Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control gave an update on investigations into the outbreak of e-cigarette or vape associated lung injury (EVALI), which has so far caused 2,051 patients to be treated and caused 40 deaths. The CDC reported that recent lab tests detected vitamin E acetate in all bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples from EVALI patients.
“This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries,” read the CDC report.
As of November 5, 2,051 cases of EVALI have been reported to the CDC in the US, with 39 deaths now confirmed. All EVALI patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette or vaping products, with the cannabis compound THC noted to be present in most of the samples tested by the US Food and Drug Administration to date.
The CDC report says, “While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, evidence is not yet sufficient to rule out contribution of other chemicals of concern to EVALI.”
Piotrowski says that the CDC’s findings confirm his view that vitamin E acetate is at least in part responsible for EVALI, while at the same time, the analyst noted that the CDC is continuing its investigation and has not ruled out other causes.
SLANG, which doesn’t have any products in its portfolio containing vitamin E acetate (nor other suggested culprits such as polyethylene glycol and medium chain triglycerides), saw its share price rise following the news from the CDC, a result which was observed across the group of stocks with significant vape exposure, such as Curaleaf Holdings, TILT Holdings and KushCo Holdings.
Piotrowski thinks that there’s more upside to come for SLNG, as it did not post gains on Friday as large as other names in its group.
“The company lagged its vape peers on Friday and more importantly it has lagged the HMUS/HMMJ since CDC began investigating EVALI on August 19, 2019. Since August 19, the HMUS and HMMJ have declined ~30 per cent versus a decline of ~49 per cent for SLANG. We believe the sell-off has been unwarranted, especially now following CDC linking vitamin E acetate to EVALI. We believe that SLANG will continue to recover as investors and consumers become more aware of the root cause of vape-related illnesses,” writes Piotrowski.
The analyst thinks that SLANG will generate fiscal 2019 revenue and EBITDA of $31.7 million and negative $11.4 million, respectively, and fiscal 2020 revenue and EBITDA of $216.9 million and $49.9 million, respectively.
Last month, SLANG, which currently has cannabis products in 2,600 stores across 12 US states, announced a strategic partnership with California cannabis brand Cookies, which will see Cookies products brought to the Colorado cannabis market.