Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic thinks Weedmaps or WM Technology Inc. (NASDAQ MAPS) could use a little more disclosure when it comes to talking about its statistics. While the analyst maintains his Overweight rating on the cannabis platform company, he also lowered his target price from $11.30 to $10.50. The stock was lately trading at $3.43 and the company reports its earnings on Tuesday after the market closes.
Zuanic sounds supportive of the company but seems to have tweaked his numbers and attributed that to a lack of visibility into the details backing those numbers. On the positive side, he notes that the company’s sales grew 6% sequentially at a time when most in the industry reported sales falling 3%). He also pointed out that Weedmaps is the “number one e-commerce marketplace and SaaS provider to the cannabis industry (close to 70% penetration of US retail shops; 16 million actively engaged monthly users; sales 5x those of comps like LFLY [NC] and 8x SBIG [NC]).” He went on to write, “Our anecdotal checks imply dispensary owners remain engaged with the platform and are not cutting spending.” Despite that, the analyst’s estimates for earnings are at the low end of the guidance range that Weedmaps had issued. His forecast is for sales of $60.9 million, while the range is $60 – $63 million.
The analyst outlined various issues he has with Weedmap‘s disclosures on its businesses. Zuanic was impressed with the company’s expanded suite of solutions but questioned whether they added to the top-line revenue. He wrote:
For starters, the company does not distinguish between the number of subscribers to the WM platform vs. the average monthly paying clients (AMPC). If we were to
assume both are the same (probably not), then it would seem subscription revenue per client is down (not a signal that paying clients are using the services more). The
company said WM business subscriptions were 20% of sales in 1Q22 vs. 23% in 1Q21; in that period, AMPCs increased 28%, so revenue per client would be down 5%.
The report also questioned the quality of the average monthly paying clients. While Weedmaps said that the AMPC grew, it didn’t dive any deeper into the quality of those accounts. Zuanic points out that he actually thinks this type of detail would be positive for the company. He thinks Weedmaps should break out the top five states and the penetration there. One example he gives is that adding paying clients that have stores with lower revenues isn’t as great as adding a client with higher revenue. He also believes that this type of transparency would shut down the complaints that Weedmaps continues to work with illicit operators – a claim Weedmaps denies.
It was also suggested that Weedmaps begin to report a type of same-store sales statistic. Retailers often use these statistics to show growth in established stores. Zuanic thinks Weedmaps could report on whether its established paying clients are increasing their spending year-over-year. He also would like to see more information regarding the monthly average users. Weedmaps claims it has roughly 40 million users, but of that number – how do they actually use the site? Zuanic would like to see statistics comparing search versus transactions.
Zuanic also took a look at how much companies were allocating in their budgets for Weedmaps and sees a silver lining. He wrote, “We calculate CA accounts are spending about $8,000 per month on the platform (62% of 1Q22 sales of $57.5Mn divided by 3 months and by ~1,400 accounts) vs. >$2,000 for the rest. Very roughly, we estimate CA retailers (brick & mortar and online) generate about $3.8Mn in sales per month ($5.3Bn per year / 1,400 accounts) or $320K per month. If they spend $8,000 on the WM platform, that would be 2.5% of sales. If we assume these stores would spend 7-10% in marketing ($22-32K), then MAPS has room to expand penetration per store.”