Beacon Securities analyst Russell Stanley is still high on Ayr Wellness Inc. (Ayr Wellness Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts CSE:AYR.A). On July 19, the analyst raised his target price on the company to $81.00/share from $76.00/share, implying a potential return of 123 per cent at the time of publication.
Ayr Wellness is a vertically integrated cannabis company with operations in Nevada, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio and Florida and most recently Illinois, with a pending acquisition in New Jersey.
With second-quarter results due in a conference call on August 17, Stanley notes that company management’s recent prediction that six of Ayr’s eight markets would exceed $100 million in revenue in 2022, with other adjustments forthcoming.
“We are looking for revenue/adjusted EBITDA of $90/$27M, in line with management’s guidance,” he said. “FactSet shows consensus at $88M/$27M, though we note that the average amongst the eight current sets of estimates is actually $91M/$28M. In addition to the results, we will be looking for an update on management’s 2022 guidance of at least $725M/$300M, as well as colour on the integration/buildout of acquired assets.”
After Ayr reported revenues of $155 million and an adjusted EBITDA of $56 million in 2020, Beacon Securities forecasts a jump to $375 million in revenues and an adjusted EBITDA of $124 million in 2021, followed by an additional projection of $736 million in revenues and an adjusted EBITDA of $309 million in 2022.
Beacon also has financial valuation ratios dropping, with the EV/Revenue falling from 14.3x in 2020 to forecasts of 5.9x in 2021 and 3.0x in 2022. Meanwhile, the EV/EBITDA multiple is projected to drop from the reported 39.6x in 2020 to 18.0x in 2021, falling again to 7.2x in 2022.
Ayr has experienced a very productive July in the acquisition, product development, and retail growth spaces. The company expanded its Florida operations by opening new dispensaries in Key West and Hollywood a week apart, then received a provisional license in Massachusetts to sell its products in two dispensaries in the Greater Boston Area.
Ayr also launched the Seven Hills flower product in Pennsylvania, the first yield from its hybrid-greenhouse facility located in Pottsville, about two hours north of Philadelphia.
On the acquisition side, Ayr breathed new life into its Nevada operations, spending $17 million to acquire award-winning cultivator Tahoe Hydroponics Company and its spaces in Carson City and Sparks, as well as best-in-class concentrate producer NV Green, Inc., which adds two cultivation licenses, one production license, and one distribution license to Ayr’s Nevada footprint.
“This transaction expands AYR’s cultivation/manufacturing footprint in Nevada, strengthening its ability to support its six stores along with the wholesale market,” Stanley said of the deal. “The $17M purchase price includes $5M in cash, $3.5M in notes, and $8.5M in stock. This represents 4.5x the expected 2021 EBITDA of these assets.”
Most recently, Ayr also made its first inroads into Illinois with the acquisition of Herbal Remedies Dispensaries, which operates two licensed retail dispensaries in the Prairie State.
“Today’s announcement represents the next step in our goal to position Ayr as a leading MSO, with a strong presence in states that deliver meaningful revenue. Illinois will become the eighth state in our expanding footprint, which now reaches close to 85 million people,” said Jonathan Sandelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ayr Wellness, in the company’s July 20 press release announcing its most recent acquisition. “The total cannabis market in Illinois is already run-rating at $1.8 billion in annual sales, despite adult-use launching only 18 months ago. The team at Herbal Remedies has done a tremendous job in Quincy, building a fantastic business and a strong reputation for excellent customer service and merchandising – exactly what we at Ayr Wellness look for in a partner when entering a new market. We look forward to working with the Herbal team as we continue to build our presence in the Illinois market.”
Ahead of the highly-anticipated second-quarter results, Stanley is positive regarding Ayr’s financial status.
“While MSOs generally do not disclose revenue by state, we believe this gives Ayr the most diversified revenue profile in the space,” he said. “We estimate that Ayr has $60M+ of cash net of that required to complete announced acquisitions and fund the associated buildouts, giving it ample balance sheet flexibility for additional M&A.”
At the time of publication, Ayr Wellness was trading at $36.64/share, up 71 cents from its Wednesday opening.