Right now Canntrust is down, but are they out?
There is no denying that Canntrust's value has been decimated in a matter of days after the news that health Canada would be putting the company under investigation for growing cannabis in rooms prior to obtaining their license to grow. In a short week the stock declined consecutively every single day since the announcement to close the week down almost 50%. Its astonishing how fast a company who carried a strong reputation in the high growth cannabis sector can be demolished and have their reputation tarnished overnight. Now as serious as the news really is, there are always two sides to a story, and most of the time someone's loss is another one's fortune. The question remains on many of our minds, will this be the case for canntrust once the dust settles. This week is going to be a very crucial week for canntrust and their shareholders for a few reasons.
The Fate Lies in Health Canada's Hands
This is going to be a big week for Canntrust and I can see the stock having more volatility than last week. More than likely a large amount of short interest has accumulated on Canntrust after last week's news, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a short squeeze in the trading sessions to come. There is a perfect catalyst coming up this week that could cause a massive bounce in shares of Canntrust. The company has until July 18th to respond to health Canada'sregulator'ss report. At that point Health Canada will determine if the company receives a fine of up to a million dollars Canadian or a suspension/cancellation of their federal license. In my opinion if health Canada eases back at all hinting at a possible fine and allows Canntrust to pick up the pieces of their broken reputation, shares will rally immensely. Often times when things look like they could not get any worse and there is no hope are the times that you need to think logically, weigh the pros and cons and see through the darkness. Its human nature to join the crowd and rain down negativity on Canntrust as many investors within the community have done so. I truly believe "this too shall pass" but let's talk about the worst-case scenario. If Canntrust was to lose their federal license than the company would indeed be in big trouble, at that point I think they would have to be bought out, rebranded and dismantled. Brands and reputation definitely carry value especially in the cannabis sector so Canntrust has taken a big hit.
How Far Will Health Canada take it?
In my opinion Health Canada is making an example of Canntrust and they came in guns blazing. On Friday we felt the waves of fear ripple through the cannabis sector with a broad selloff from large caps to small caps. Selling quality cannabis grown in licensed facilities should be on the top of their list, but completely destroying a company for breaking the rules once is another story. It would make more sense to even increase the size of fines for non-compliance in the future to deter companies from breaking the rules, but a suspension or complete withdrawal of one's license seems a little overboard. This would also look bad for the Canadian government allowing the destruction of so many jobs. We will be waiting on the edges of our seat this week to see the final verdict from health Canada but I wouldn't be surprised if we see more volatility than last week. At this point buying the dip in shares of Canntrust is very risky business but for a high-risk investor, there is lots of potential for returns. Buckle your seatbelts if you are on the Canntrust coaster, we could be in for a wild ride!
__________________________________________________________________________________________About the Author Aaron Missere is the CEO and founder of financial media company Departures Capital Inc. He is an avid and experienced investor, with a primary focus on the cannabis industry. In addition to being a featured contributor to StockNews.com and ETFDailyNews.com, he is an author for SmarterAnalyst.com. Aaron also currently hosts a weekly show on YouTube that recaps and explains the movement in the stock market, with a heavy emphasis on marijuana stocks.
CannTrust Holdings Inc. (CTST) was trading at $2.81 per share on Wednesday morning, up $0.06 (+2.18%). Year-to-date, CTST has declined %, versus a 12.77% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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What is going on?
For many that follow us and know our investment strategy in the cannabis sector post legalization has been heavily focused on holding our largest positions within the large cap cannabis stocks. We feel that these companies carry the least amount of risk as opposed to so many of the small cap stocks that have sold off immensely. The large cap stocks have seen their fair share of shakeups and volatility but we still feel that investing in large caps, especially when the market pulls back like it has, is going to be the key to maximizing returns within the cannabis sector. With many cannabis stocks feeling the growing pains of any new industry, experiencing wild price swings, there are so many stocks right now sitting close to their yearly lows. Knowing when to start buying these stocks is crucial to success with it comes to investing and even more so, knowing how to determine if you are buying a great company at a good price or a value trap.
Aphria should not be forgotten
One company that comes to mind is Aphria. This stock has seen its fair share of volatility due to a short seller attack over their latin american assets this year that shaved off over 50% of their market cap within days only to bounce right back up after the dust settled. We saw the stock go on to more than triple off of its lows after the attack and has now been steadily declining after hitting $14 per share in April. At current levels the company still has a market cap of over 2 billion dollars (cad) and a 52 week high of $22 (cad).
Aphria is not to be forgotten for many reasons and it starts with the canadian cannabis market. The company has supply agreements with all of the canadian provinces and the yukon territories. After digesting Aphria’s latest earnings report we were very pleased to see that the company grew revenues over 600% year over year and over 200% from the previous quarter. We highly value increasing revenue numbers as a key driver to success in the short term, and as the company matures, then we will focus on the bottom line more closely including profitability. Compared to its counterparts and other large cap cannabis stocks, aphria lost just over $100,000 last quarter which is very minimal compared to a company like canopy which lost over $300,000,000, yes 300 Million. We feel that aphria is very close to profitability, and despite the lackluster numbers coming out of the canadian cannabis market, aphria has a secret weapon that will propel them back up to new highs in the coming months.
Aphria’s Secret Weapon
Aphria is already thinking like an industry leader, setting up operations globally in latin america, south africa and more importantly europe. Aphria has put a lot of emphasis on germany which is most likely going to be the largest cannabis market outside of north america. The company is one of three companies to hold a german cannabis license, the other two being aurora and ICC International Cannabis/Wayland. This is a huge advantage next to over cannabis companies in our opinion as the market in europe grows, aphria will have first mover advantage compared to other companies. On top of this Aphria acquired CC Pharma which serves over 13,000 pharmacies across germany.
Despite the shake up in the stock earlier this year, the company still holds licenses in Jamaica, Colombia and Argentina, which we feel will be a high growth sector as well. These markets have a long way to go, but should prove to be more and more profitable as the global push for legalization continues and the world opens up to cannabis.
The opportunity lies ahead
At current levels we feel that aphria is not only undervalued compared to some of its competitors, but we feel that you are getting a lot of bang for your buck if you are betting on international expansion. We really like that the company is growing revenues at such a fast pace, while minimizing losses, as we feel that is going to be crucial over the next few years. What we would like to see from the company is a solid mix of diversified revenue coming from the canadian market and international market to reinforce aphria as a play on international growth. Aphria is on the top of our watchlist and should probably be on yours as well.(Disclosure : We do not own Aphria) ________________________________________________________________________________________________