Neal Gilmer of Haywood Capital Markets has rated Toronto-based Tilray (Tilray Stock Quote, Chart, News NASDAQ:TLRY) as a stock to “Hold” for the time being, setting a target price of $16.50/share (all figures USD unless otherwise noted) which at press time represented a projected return of 15 per cent, in a report to clients on July 15.
A cannabis-lifestyle and consumer packaged goods company with operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, and Latin America, Tilray is set to release its updated quarterly results, as well as annual results for the year ending May 31, 2021, on a call July 28.
Gilmer views those results, along with future acquisitions, product launches, and expansion into new markets as catalysts for his updated rating.
“We view Tilray as the leader in the Canadian landscape and in our perspective, it has distinguished itself among its peer group,” he said. “In addition, we are also encouraged by the international opportunities and optionality in the U.S. However, we remain cautious on the overall Canadian landscape. As a result, despite our positive view on the Company itself, we assign a Hold rating as we await more evidence on accelerated revenue growth opportunities.”
The upcoming reports will also be the first indicator of how Tilray is performing since merging with Aphria in May, strengthening its position as the Canadian leader in adult-use cannabis production by creating a more efficient strategic footprint, in turn yielding a market capitalization of $7.15 billion.
Gilmer’s projections have Tilray making the most of its synergies with Aphria within the next 18 months, as the company is forecast to have its annual revenue more than double in that time period, jumping from a projected $491.2 million in the 2021 report to a projected $1.014 billion by 2023, saving roughly $81 million in pre-tax dollars along the way.
Consequently, the company’s adjusted EBITDA is projected by the analysts to spike from an estimated $29.9 million in 2021 to $180.8 million by 2023, with earnings-per-share also forecast to get into positive territory by then.
According to Gilmer, Tilray is currently trading at 7.3x his F2023 Revenue estimate, compared with the Canadian peer group at 5.2x FY estimates.
Tilray CEO Irwin D. Simon says the newly-merged organization is ready to get to work on turning potential into performance while addressing consumer and patient needs for safe, innovative, and high-quality products.
“Our focus now turns to execution on our highest return priorities including business integration and accelerating our global growth strategy,” he said in the May 3 press release announcing the merger. “Covid-19 related lockdowns have presented unique challenges across Canadian and German markets. As these markets begin to re-open, Tilray is poised to strike and transform the industry with our highly scalable operational footprint, a curated portfolio of diverse medical and adult-use cannabis brands and products, a multi-continent distribution network, and a robust capital structure to fund our global expansion strategy and deliver sustained profitability and long-term value for our stakeholders.”
Tilray has been very busy since the merger was completed, having launched the Symbios brand in early June with the intent of offering a broader spectrum of formats and unique cannabinoid ratios at a better price point.
Meanwhile, one of the properties Tilray acquired as part of the Aphria merger, the Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Company, launched Broken Coast BC Lager, a collaboration with Duncan, B.C.-based Broken Coast Cannabis Ltd., which serves as Tilray’s first Canadian cannabis brand introduction into the U.S.
Last week, SweetWater announced its expansion into the west coast market with a brewery in Colorado, along with opening the SweetWater Mountain Taphouse within the Denver International Airport. SweetWater continued its forward momentum today, as the company also announced the launch of its 420 Imperial IPA product line, an extension of the company’s original 420 Extra Pale Ale line.
Internationally, Tilray’s German subsidiary, Aphria RX GmbH completed the first successful harvest of medical cannabis cultivated in Germany for distribution to German pharmacies, strengthening the company’s emphasis on being a leader in European cannabis cultivation, which Simon noted in the company’s July 7 press release.
“The European Union represents a powerful growth market for us and, among its constituent markets, Germany possesses the greatest potential,” he said. “We look forward to leveraging our strong medical platform and our multifaceted international operation, which combines in-country cultivation, importation, and large distribution infrastructure, to increase access and availability to high-quality, consistent medical cannabis for all European patients.”
Though it has exposure to the American market through its Manitoba Harvest operation, the U.S. also remains a future growth opportunity, as Sen. Chuck Schumer recently tabled the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a bill that would federally legalize marijuana, though its ratification will take time in the name of securing the required votes.
Overall, Gilmer paints a positive picture for the company’s direction going forward.
“Our new estimates reflect a more conservative approach to the upcoming quarter,” he said. “We expect Tilray to realize the synergies of the business combinations throughout fiscal 2022 and into fiscal 2023. The Company should continue to build on its international success and benefit from the re-opening across Canada as well as from new store-openings.”
Tilray closed Friday down $0.49 to $13.91 on the Nasdaq.
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