A string of bad news is enough for one analyst to change his rating on US cannabis company iAnthus Capital (iAnthus Capital Stock Quote, Chart, News CSE:IAN), which recently saw the ousting of its CEO.
In an update to clients on Tuesday, Beacon Securities analyst Stanley moved his rating from “Buy” to
“Hold” and dropped his 12-month price target all the way from C$6.50 per share to C$0.30.
New York-based iAnthus is a US multi-state operator with cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities, with core interests in Florida, New York and Massachusetts. Earlier this month, the company announced that it had defaulted on its debt by not making its latest interest payments for $4.4 million on two secured debentures, in total putting all of its $159.2 million principal amount of debt into default. (All figures in US dollars except where noted otherwise.)
The company framed the event as a result of overall declines in the public equity markets for cannabis business along with the impact of COVID-19 on the US cannabis scene, with CEO Hadley Ford saying the default was in the best interests of the company at the particular time.
Then came the recent announcement that Ford had resigned due to the conclusions of a Special Committee of the Board which looked into allegations of undisclosed third-party transactions by the CEO. The findings were that Ford had made two personal loans totaling $160,000, one of which was a $100,000 loan from the Managing Member of iAnthus’ primary lender Gotham Green.
The statement from the company read, “The Special Committee did not find a basis to conclude that Ford’s conduct in the face of the potential or apparent conflict impacted the terms, timing, or negotiations the Company had with the related-party or the non-arm’s length party. Nevertheless, the Special Committee concluded, and the Board accepted, that the failure to disclose such personal loans to the Board was a breach of the Company’s conflict policies and other obligations as an officer and director of the Company.”
In the interim, co-founder and president Randy Maslow has taken on the role of CEO.
Meanwhile, the company is undergoing a strategic alternatives review process to go over options as far as the company’s liquidity requirements go.
Regarding the new news, Stanley said while iAnthus is “in good hands” with Maslow, recent events will make finding a permanent CEO a difficult task.
“We are downgrading iAnthus Capital from BUY to HOLD given recent developments with respect to the balance sheet, financial reporting and senior management. We continue to believe the asset base has considerable value, and we will look for additional clarity on the company’s plans at the corporate level before reinstating our BUY rating,” Stanley wrote.
With his estimates, Stanley has forecasted fiscal 2020 revenue and adjusted EBITDA of $270 million and $37 million, respectively, and for fiscal 2021 revenue and adjusted EBITDA of $400 million and $107 million, respectively.
At press time, the analyst’s C$0.30 target represented a projected return of five per cent. In Tuesday’s trading, IAN finished up 6.78 per cent to $0.315.
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