Why Aphria Remains The Best Deal In Marijuana Stocks Today


Investors in Canadian grower Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH)(NASDAQOTH:APHQF) should be pleased with the company’s recently announced Q4 earnings report. Aphria continues to far exceed peer companies Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB) and Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX:WEED) (NYSE:CGC) in a number of metrics including cannabis production, earnings, cash flow, and even global expansion.

Still, investors worry that falling stock prices don’t show the true value of the company.

With a $1.39 billion valuation, Aphria holds a premier spot over the Canadian recreational cannabis market that officially opens on October 17. Regarding expansion, they acquired Nuuvera, a manufacturer of medical cannabis products, while pumping their production capability to 230,000 kilograms of cannabis annually, an effort helped by strategic partnerships with companies like Double Diamond Farms.


 

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Aphria has a presence in more than a dozen countries, and despite their rapid global expansion, they reported a positive EBITDA (earnings before taxes, depreciation, and amortization)—a useful metric for measuring the health of a company’s cash flow and operating performance. Once again, Aphria reported a double-digit 18 percent EBITDA margin for their core Canadian business, by far the most profitable in the industry. New acquisitions of international businesses are temporarily hampering EBITDA results (to the tune of a $2.2 million loss) in the global business, but that is to be expected as Aphria builds out its worldwide capacity.

In fact, Aphria stands alone as the only positive-generating EBITDA large Licensed Producer. Many agree that the Q4 report speaks volumes about the capabilities of the Aphria management team, who can massively scale capacity, build out a workforce, and add international facilities—all while continuing to generate positive cash flow. Most industry insiders expect Aphria’s C-Suite to remain highly profitable come October.

With Canadian and international businesses combined, Aphria’s $500K EBITDA loss only amounts to five percent of their total revenue.  (By comparison, Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth are losing 43 percent and 10o percent of revenue each quarter, respectively.)

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With all of those irons in the fire, Aphria’s EBITDA was still $2.2 million for their Q4 Canadian business and $8.4 million for the year. Early in 2019, when they’re producing 230,000 kilos of cannabis, experts estimate Aphria’s EBITDA could near $180 million.


 

While Aphria’s Q4 report is generally impressive, some investors are a bit disappointed that the company and beverage giant Molson Coors Canada will not be going into business. After rumors of the partnership to produce cannabis-infused beverages, Molson ended up courting The Hydropothecary Corporation (TSX:HEXO) into a joint venture.

Aphria remains king of cash flow because they keep their production costs at the lowest in the industry, around $1.60 per gram. Because of this, an expected 2019 excess cannabis supply will likely not drastically affect Aphria. In fact, as excess supply will drive retail prices down across the board, Aphria is well positioned to weather that storm.

Still, with low costs, and better execution, company stock remains at a significant discount compared to their estimated worth. Experts argue, however, that now is the time to buy, as Aphria may be the best value in the marijuana stock market.



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