Cronos Group Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMarch 30, 2020
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4min1400

Good luck making sense of Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) (CRON.TO) 2019 fourth quarter and full-year business results. The company said it will restate its unaudited interim financial statements for the first, second and third quarters of 2019. The icing on the earnings cake was that it will also reduce revenue for the three months ending March 31, 2019, by C$2.5 million and the three months ended September 30, 2019, by C$5.1 million.

“We are pleased that the Audit Committee has completed its review and that Cronos Group is now current with the filing of our financial reports. As we move forward, we are committed to improving our internal controls and financial reporting practices, maintaining the highest standards of transparency and accountability, and enhancing our capabilities and resources across functions to support our strategy,” said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group.

Fourth Quarter

Despite the restatements, the company reported net revenue of $7.3 million in the fourth quarter that topped last year’s fourth quarter by $3.0 million. The kicker is that the quarterly expenses were $43 million. The company spent $13 million in sales and marketing and another $14 million in general and administrative expenses. This is in one quarter for $7 million in revenue.

The company attributed the increase to a rise in the volume of products sold in the Rest of World segment and the Redwood acquisition, but that this was partially offset by a decrease in the price of products sold in the Rest of World segment.

Cronos also deliver an operating loss of ($63.9) million in the quarter driven by the inventory write-down of one-time charges related to the repurposing of certain facilities at the Peace Naturals Campus, an increase in general and administrative expenses in order to support Cronos Group’s growth strategy, an increase in sales and marketing in order to create, build and develop brands and an increase in R&D costs.

Full Year

For the full year of 2019, the company reported a net revenue of $23.8 million and an operating loss of ($121.5) million primarily driven by inventory write-downs in 2019. Cronos wrote down $29.4 million, made up of a one-time charge of $1.9 million, related to the repurposing of certain facilities at the Peace Naturals Campus, and a $27.5 million write-down on cannabis plants, based on the estimated market value of the specific strains previously in production, and cannabis oil, primarily driven by downward pressure in market prices during the year.

However, due to a $118 million unrealized gain on the revaluation of financial liabilities, primarily resulting from the non-cash change in the fair value of financial derivative liabilities associated with the investment by Altria Group, Inc. Cronos Group recorded a pre-tax unrealized gain of $1.2 billion.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtFebruary 24, 2020
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3min2390

Cronos Group’s (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) decision to delay its earnings release makes it the latest cannabis company to unsettle the market just as it is trying to crawl out of a bear market. On Monday the company stated it would delay its 2019 fourth quarter and full-year earnings release and conference call, previously scheduled for Thursday, February 27, 2020. According to the company statement, Cronos “has had a delay in the completion of its financial statements and will make a further announcement in a subsequent press release to schedule the date and time of the earnings conference call.”

This follows one month after the company’s Chief Operating Officer David Hsu resigned from his position and no successor was named. Hsu had joined the company in 2016 and oversaw all of Cronos Group’s operations including construction, cultivation, and manufacturing as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Cronos Group, David spent over ten years consulting with Deloitte and CRG Partners, a premier turnaround consulting firm, where he operated and managed distressed companies with revenues of more than $500.

Stock Performance

The stock has taken a tumble along with most cannabis stocks over the past year. Cronos’ 52-week high was C$32 and the low was $7. The stock was lately trading at C$9.44 and seemed to be slowly building its way back up the charts.

Last Quarter Was Good

If Cronos is signaling that this quarter’s numbers will be disappointing, it will surprise investors. Last November, the company reported that its third-quarter net revenue increased 238% in Canadian dollars to $12.7 million versus last year’s $3.8 million for the same time period. Cronos attributed the gain to the launch of the adult-use market in Canada and the inclusion of Redwood from the date of closing on September 5, 2019, to the end of the quarter. Sequentially, net revenue rose 24% from $10.2 million in the second quarter as the company said that improvement was due to increased sales in domestic dried cannabis and the inclusion of Redwood.

Overall figures form Canada point to a strong end of 2019. Statistics Canada data showed cannabis sales in December climbed 8.1% sequentially to $146 million. This was the third straight month in a row sales have increased with the biggest increases coming from Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.


StaffStaffJanuary 23, 2020
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3min23650

After the market close on Wednesday, Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) entered into a separation agreement On January 15, 2020, with David Hsu, who resigned from his position as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer effective as of the close of business on December 31, 2019. A successor was not named.

Hsu joined the company in 2016 and oversaw all of Cronos Group’s operations including construction, cultivation, and manufacturing as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Cronos Group, David spent over ten years consulting with Deloitte and CRG Partners, a premier turnaround consulting firm, where he operated and managed distressed companies with revenues of more than $500.

On January 17, 2020, Cronos also entered into a separation agreement with William Hilson, who resigned from his position as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Severance Payments

According to the filing, Hsu will receive cash severance in an aggregate amount equal to C$400,000 and Mr. Hilson will receive cash severance in an aggregate amount equal to C$167,500, less, in each case, applicable statutory deductions and withholdings, payable within 60 days after the Separation Date; and each executive will be entitled to subsidized life insurance, medical and dental benefits until the earlier of June 30, 2020, and the date on which such executive obtains alternate benefit coverage. Outstanding unvested Company options held by each executive as of the
Separation Date vest on an accelerated basis as of the Separation Date and each executive’s vested options may be exercised, in accordance with the terms of the applicable award agreements, by the earlier of the date on which such options’ original exercise term expires and June 30, 2020.

Recent Earnings

In November, the company reported that its third-quarter net revenue increased 238% in Canadian dollars to $12.7 million versus last year’s $3.8 million for the same time period. Cronos attributed the gain to the launch of the adult-use market in Canada and the inclusion of Redwood from the date of closing on September 5, 2019, to the end of the quarter. Sequentially, net revenue rose 24% from $10.2 million in the second quarter as the company said that improvement was due to increased sales in domestic dried cannabis and the inclusion of Redwood


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtNovember 12, 2019
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4min6360

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) reported that its third-quarter net revenue increased 238% in Canadian dollars to $12.7 million versus last year’s $3.8 million for the same time period. Cronos attributed the gain to the launch of the adult-use market in Canada and the inclusion of Redwood from the date of closing on September 5, 2019, to the end of the quarter. Sequentially, net revenue rose 24% from $10.2 million in the second quarter as the company said that improvement was due to increased sales in domestic dried cannabis and the inclusion of Redwood.

“As demonstrated by our progress in the third quarter, we are making great strides to advance the development and diversity of our portfolio and to expand our manufacturing capabilities,” said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. “We are confident that our platform strategy and focus on consumer-driven innovation will continue to differentiate Cronos Group and drive growth and value creation over the long-term.”

Another area that saw a large increase was the operating expenses which came in at a loss of $54 million. Had the company not reported a ‘Gain on revaluation of derivative liabilities’ of $835 million the company wouldn’t have turned in a net income of $787 million. Still, the company is sitting on a war chest of $1.4 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

KG Sold Jumps 511%

Cronos also reported that it sold 3,142 kilograms in Canada during the third quarter, representing a 511% increase from 514 kilograms sold in 2018 for the same quarter. Kilograms sold increased by 98% sequentially, driven by increased domestic wholesale sales. The cost of sales before fair value adjustments per gram sold for the non-U.S. market was $2.27 in Q3 2019, representing a 31% decrease from $3.28 in Q3 2018 and a 25% decrease from $3.01 in Q2 2019. The decrease quarter-over-quarter was driven by lower production costs on a per gram basis.

Looking Ahead

Cronos Group announced the introduction of PEACE+, a new hemp-derived CBD brand in the U.S. PEACE+ is about more than making a better, high-quality hemp-derived CBD product; it stems from the belief that well-being can lead to a better world, full of positivity and possibility. It’s a belief that extends beyond the products and into everything the brand seeks to do and stand for. PEACE+™ will sell hemp-derived CBD tincture products through a test market of approximately 1,000 retail stores in the U.S. The company intends to utilize Altria Group, Inc.’s sales and distribution network to access the U.S. convenience store retail channel in order to gain consumer insights prior to expanding distribution more broadly.

With the completion of the Redwood acquisition, Robert Rosenheck, the co-founder and CEO of Redwood and the Lord Jones brand, will also assume responsibility for Cronos Group’s operations, marketing, and brand strategy in the U.S. hemp-derived CBD market.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtSeptember 23, 2019
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14min7690

This interview was conducted between Green Market Report’s Editor-In-Chief Debra Borchardt and Cronos Group CEO Mike Gorenstein in New York on September 17, 2019. It has been edited for purposes of length.

Green Market Report:
One of the big negatives happening right now in the cannabis industry obviously is the vaping issue. Do you think that the cannabis industry needs to do more to fight that battle? Or what can the cannabis industry do?

Mike Gorenstein, CEO Cronos Group:
This is a big reason why legalization can help, when you think about the markets we’re in, right? If you look at Canada and the big question we get is, what’s happening with your vape products? We actually haven’t been able to launch because we only operate in fully legal markets. I think what’s happening is even as we have a lot of consumers aren’t sure whether there’s something legal or not when they are going into dispensaries and they’re expecting a regulated product. This is why we need to have strictly regulated products. You can usually have safety standards, but I think that’s the argument. Why we need to have as an industry and to go toe to toe with regulators. We should all collaborate in nature. We have the right standards and we can make sure we transparently have regulated products on shelf.

Green Market Report:
I had heard that the vape sales for cannabis hadn’t been affected yet though. That the consumer, the cannabis consumer is already making that differentiation, that it’s more of a PR issue versus an actual consumer issue at the consumption level.

Mike Gorenstein:
Seeing the exact data that would say one way or another. I think it’s an opportunity for responsible companies. Like the work that we do with Cronos device labs in Israel. We’re going through all types of different safety checks. When you know the heating coil and making sure that you have the right heating coil and looking at the ingredients that would be vaporized. Making sure that the way that they interact is safe. Making sure that we have data there and then going always through the supply chain, making sure that we know that nothing is being swapped out with no impurities. And those are the important things to do so that when consumers are going to the store, you can maintain that trust. That says, here’s that transparent data. What we’ve done is to make sure that this is the safest product that you can get on the market and people are going to be using these products. We should make sure we get them the safest possible product.

Green Market Report:
Are you engaging in any of these kinds of codes that can be put on the packaging so you can be sure that it is the right product that it hasn’t been counterfeited? Will Cronos be working with any of those companies?

Mike Gorenstein:
I think we’re in a unique situation because the market that we’ll be launching in is Canada, You’re actually wholesaling into the government and the government is distributed. So because you have one point for each province and distribution. For example, in Ontario, we ship everything to the province and then all the retail store’s purchase product from the province and with uniform packaging. So it’s less than I think of a risk of counterfeit because there’s one source the retailers purchase from.

Green Market Report:
Let’s talk about Altria (NYSE: MO). They have taken a fairly big position in your company. Any concern about that?

Mike Gorenstein:
For them having too large of a position? No, no, we look at it as a partnership. I think that they’re great partners to have. I think that there’s a lot they can help us with. They’ve seen just about everything over the last hundred years, but from distribution, marketing, manufacturing, and it gets it all. As a young company that is great for us to get and we can focus on innovation, focus on the consumer, on a cannabis consumer, and then we can leverage a lot of that expertise. So having them is really helpful for us.

Green Market Report:
The only comparison I see is the Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) and Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) relationship. It looked like a good deal in the beginning and now everybody feels it’s really not Canopy Growth anymore. It’s really Constellation Brands. How can you as Cronos Group protect yourself from that happening?

Mike Gorenstein:
Just becoming a branch of Altria? My job as CEO and chairman is to do its best for shareholders. And I think one of the reasons you have corporate governance is making sure that ultimately I shouldn’t be the only person that can make every decision. You know, it’s good to have experts across the whole board. They can bet certain decisions. So it’s not about protecting ourselves, it’s about protecting shareholders and making sure that you get the best possible outcome. You know, I think one, one key difference when you look at the industry is you’re coming from, there’s not a risk of cannabis cannibalizing the tobacco industry.

Mike Gorenstein:
Yeah. I think all is a company that’s, you know, the last, the last few decades of focus has really been how do we reduce risk and increase new choices and new opportunities. And I think that this is an avenue in part of that diversification. You know, seeing an opportunity to invest in a business that’s different than tobacco.

Green Market Report:

What is the relationship between you and Gotham Green at this time?

Mike Gorenstein:
I spend my time on Cronos. I don’t have any operational or any other responsibilities at Gotham Green.

Green Market Report:

What is the current status on the joint venture with MedMen (OTC:MMNFF)?

Mike Gorenstein:
Yeah, we still have a joint venture in Canada and I think a lot of what’s, what’s changed is the regulatory environment. So we’ve had a few changes in provincial licensing for the retail stores. We’ve had a quite a bit of evolved changes and it hasn’t made economic sense for us to actually pursue a license given the lottery dynamics and the supply dynamic. So it’s still something that we have open. We still communicate frequently and the idea behind it still fits the Cronos model, which is being very focused, staying in our lane, part of building that ecosystem is bringing a best in class retailer. Having them be able to manage retail stores around them and us going and building out our own retail stores is still there.

I think it’s still a great brand and it’s a great operation. The challenge is just, we don’t know how the licenses are going to be issued and given the lottery system and the limits on LP control right now, it hasn’t made sense. As things open up and the market matures, I think that’s when we can get a little more visibility and be able to build the business case specifically to open the stores and where it opens stores.

Green Market Report:
You just recently closed on the Lord Jones acquisition. How do you plan to grow the market share?

Mike Gorenstein:
We feel like it’s pretty differentiated where it’s at. And I think one of the things we’re excited about.  We look at it as a, as a premium CBD brand. And when we think of the skincare opportunity being in Sephora, being in Soul Cycle and the unique distribution channels – it allows it to be a separate differentiated product. We don’t think of it as a state by state cannabis market. We think of it as a national marketing global CBD opportunity.

In the brick and mortar,  their biggest distribution is really their skincare. And that’s the thing we see as a pretty differentiated opportunity there. That’s one of the things that was very exciting for us. You haven’t seen a lot of companies build brand equity and in that area and I think it’s an area that will grow and it’s pretty exciting.

Green Market Report:

You recently inked a deal with MediPharm Labs. Was scale the reason behind that?

Mike Gorenstein:
Yes. As we scale and get to market, then we’ll use multiple contract manufacturers and we take a very similar strategy to CPG companies where we want to make sure that we can focus on the consumer demands focused on getting the products right and rather than trying to build all the infrastructure upfront and ourselves, we’ll leverage sharing partners to be able to get products in the market.

Are you able to keep your standards by using these different providers? So we have very strict quality agreements. We dictate the standard operating procedures and where the actual cannabis is coming in. What we’re doing is standardizing a extracted crude oil.

Our whole model is about being able to standardize what the formulations are and we need to be able to do the same thing in Canada. This is typical across all CPGs, these are the standards you operate. So pick any pharmaceutical, which is about the most standardized industry yet and Pfizer is using co-manufacturers to make their, their pharmaceuticals.

If you look at our history of how we’ve grown. We’ve been very careful about the way that we’ve done this stage in the company’s growth, if there’s not a culture fit, if there’s not an alignment of vision and strategy, it can be very difficult. I have a background as a corporate M&A lawyer and I think a lot about how all these pieces fit together. Integration is a very key focus and it needs to fit the things we’re doing.

Green Market Report:

The cannabis group is as a whole, stock wise, been down. Do you think that the group is going to need some kind of green swan event to bring things back?

Mike Gorenstein:
It’s a very young industry and it is going to be very volatile. So it’s understandable. I think we’re also in a fortunate position where the capital markets don’t favor cannabis. We ultimately believe that the macro outlook is still great, and we’re in a great cash position that we can be opportunistic.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerAugust 8, 2019
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5min7660

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for August 7, 2019.

On the Site

Cronos Group

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) reported financial results in Canadian dollars for the second quarter and first-half ending June 30, 2019, with net revenue climbing 202% to $10.2 million over last year’s $3.4 million. The revenue increased 58% sequentially from $6.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. The company attributed the increase to sales in CBD oil, which carries no excise tax reduction and increased sales of dry flower.

GrowGeneration

Today, GrowGeneration Corp. (OTCQX: GRWG) announced the release of the financial results for the fiscal quarter ending on June 30, 2019. Net revenue for the quarter was $19.48 million, up from $7.15 million in the same period of the previous year. The company attributes the increase in revenue to the addition of 14 new retail stores

SOL Global

SOL Global Investments (CSE: SOL)(OTCPK: SOLCF) is changing from an international cannabis investment company to a U.S. multi-state cannabis operator (MSO) under the Life Sciences category of the Canadian Securities Exchange. In addition to the business designation change, the company is also changing its name to Bluma Wellness.

In Other News

Diego Pellicer

Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. (OTCQB: DPWW) announced that its Denver licensee reported record sales for the month of July and that its sales average has risen by 8.56%. “Diego Pellicer – Colorado has clearly proven that premium products plus outstanding customer service and a world-class shopping experience is a winning formula for success,” said Diego Pellicer CEO Ron Throgmartin.

Planet 13

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (CSE: PLTH) (OTCQX: PLNHF) announced that in July it served on average 1,937 customers per day with an average sale of $90.41 from the Planet 13 Las Vegas Cannabis Entertainment Complex. In May, the company accounted for roughly 10% of all cannabis sales in the state of Nevada, with a customer conversion rate of 60%. “We continue to drive impressive results from the SuperStore’s original 16,000 sq. ft. dispensary footprint in advance of the Phase II,” said Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13. “In May we reached an impressive milestone, the SuperStore accounted for 10% of all dispensary sales in Nevada. I’m optimistic we will see this trend continue once the department of taxation releases June and July numbers.”

C21 Investments

C21 Investments Inc. (CSE: CXXI) (OTC: CXXIF) released its unaudited financial results for the quarter ending on July 31, 2019. Unaudited revenue grew from $7.7 million to $9.8 million, representing a quarter-over-quarter increase of 27%. The unaudited gross margin rose from 43% to 49%. The company will release its certified financial results on or around September 12, 2019.

Cresco Labs

Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) announced that it has received approval to acquire 100% 100% of the membership interests of Gloucester Street Capital, LLC, the parent company of Valley Agriceuticals (Valley AG). Valley AG is one of ten vertically integrated medical cannabis license holders in the state of New York. The license will give Cresco the right to operate one cultivation facility and four dispensaries in the state. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the August.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtAugust 8, 2019
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3min23252

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) reported financial results in Canadian dollars for the second quarter and first-half ending June 30, 2019, with net revenue climbing 202% to $10.2 million over last year’s $3.4 million. The revenue increased 58% sequentially from $6.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. The company attributed the increase to sales in CBD oil, which carries no excise tax reduction and increased sales of dry flower.

“During the second quarter, Cronos Group expanded its R&D capabilities, innovation expertise and global infrastructure network in what has been a year of tremendous growth,” said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. “We opened Cronos Device Labs, our new global R&D center in Israel, announced the acquisition of our new state-of-the-art fermentation facility and added Dr. Todd Abraham as Chief Innovation Officer to our executive leadership team.”

The stock though slid by over 3% to lately trade at $13.96 as shareholders showed their displeasure with the company only selling 1,584 kilograms of cannabis during the quarter. For example, HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) reported that it sold 2904 kilograms in its last quarter. Still, it was an increase of 232% over the 477 kilograms sold in last year for the same time period.

The company also reported that its cost of sales before fair value adjustments per gram sold increased 14% to $3.01 in the quarter over last year’s $2.6. This was an increase of 12% sequentially over the first quarter’s cost of $2.69. Cronos Group said that the increased costs were due to higher processing cost on a per gram basis.

The company also reported a gain on the revaluation of derivative liabilities of $263 million that resulted in a net income of $250 million.

Abraham added, “We also took steps to enter the U.S. market with our recent acquisition of Redwood Holding’s hemp-based CBD platform. As we look ahead, we will continue to capitalize on this momentum by building on our partnerships with Altria and Gingko Bioworks and leveraging our collective resources and expertise to realize the significant potential in the growing cannabis industry.”


StaffStaffMay 10, 2019
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10min6010

A 6.0% dividend yield tells you all you need to know

By Will Ashworth, InvestorPlace Contributor May 3, 2019, 2:07 pm EDT

It’s been almost two months since Altria (NYSE:MO) closed its deal to buy 45% of Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) for C$2.4 billion. And the cigarette maker’s latest earnings disappointment would suggest Cronos Group stock is the better buy of the two if you’re looking to make a play on marijuana stocks.

However, before you jump on your discount broker’s website to buy some CRON stock, you might want to consider the argument for considering MO instead.

Earnings in Transition

In my opinion, free cash flow is the metric that rules most, if not all, investment decisions. That’s because if you’re a company with minimal debt and growing free cash flow, it’s pretty hard to get into too much trouble in an economic downturn.

And while an economic downturn doesn’t appear to be imminent here in the U.S., economies have a way of turning sour in a hurry. Donald Trump’s economic policies are all the rage right now with (a whopping 56% of ) Americans, but when the benefits of his tax cuts wear off and the country’s debt problem worsens, you better own companies whose financials are rock solid.

Altria reported Q1 2019 results April 25. On the top line, revenues net of excise taxes fell 6.0% year over year to $4.4 billion. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings per share decreased 5.3% to $0.90.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Altria missed the analyst estimate for earnings by two cents and revenues by $200 million.

Ouch.

Free Cash Flow Set to Grow

However, the company is in the early stages of a cost reduction program that should generate significant savings over the next year. In addition, investments such as Cronos and Juul should change the company’s growth trajectory in the years to come. A short-term decline in earnings isn’t a big deal.

From a free cash flow perspective, despite the downturn in earnings, Altria still managed to generate $2.25 billion in the first quarter. On a trailing 12-month basis, it’s free cash flow is $7.6 billion providing CEO Howard Willard with plenty of cash to pay down the $16.3 billion in 4.1% unsecured debt it issued in February to pay for Juul and Cronos along with general corporate purposes.

As long as it can commit to paying down a billion a year over the next five years, the increased cash flow from Juul along with gains from its Cronos investment should bring the total debt down to close to two times EBITDA from 2.8 after the first quarter.

Willard put it best in the company’s Q1 2019 press release

“After taking steps to position Altria for long-term success at the end of 2018, we entered 2019 with an evolved business platform that includes our strong core tobacco businesses and new strategic investments with tremendous potential for growth,” Willard stated.

With 2019 adjusted earnings expected to grow by 4%-7%, there’s an excellent possibility that free cash flow could surprise in 2019.

Cronos Stake Worth Less

Since Altria closed its deal in early March, Cronos Group stock has fallen in value by 23%. That’s prompted InvestorPlace contributor Luce Emerson to suggest Altria overpaid.

“With CGC and TLRY already off the market, Altria jumped for CRON,” Emerson wrote April 11. “There are certainly synergies across Altria’s core business with cannabis than with beer. Still, it is hard to justify paying a price to sales multiple of 267x (compare that to CGC’s 86x).

She goes on to suggest that if you compare Canopy Growth’s (NYSE:CGC) market cap to kilograms sold with Cronos Group’s, you’ll see that Altria paid approximately $1.8 million per kilogram of cannabis sold or three times as much as investors pay for Canopy Growth.

COMPARE BROKERS

I’m as big a fan of unconventional metrics as anyone. However, in this case, I don’t think we’re talking about an apples-to-apples comparison.

The fact is, we’re not talking about mature companies here, such as Altria or Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), where the price-to-sales comparison is a perfectly logical metric. Comparing P/S ratios at this point in the game when it comes to cannabis makes less sense than it did during the dot.com boom.

Emerson is right about one thing.

Altria knew it had to act sooner rather than later because it needed to have a place in line once the U.S. government legalized cannabis federally.

Why?

To show that the company and its partners are experienced in the production of cannabis and worthy of licenses in all 50 states.

As I stated in December, compared to the price Altria paid for its 35% stake in Juul, its C$2.4 billion investment in Cronos Group was a steal given the long-term prognosis for cannabis in its various forms including edibles and infused drinks.

Sometimes you have to pay a little more to gain entry to an exclusive club. Altria’s now a member in full standing.

For safety reasons, I’d buy Altria over Cronos Group stock.

At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerMay 9, 2019
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6min7830

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for May 9, 2019.

On the Site

Cronos Group

Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) reported financial results in Canadian dollars for the first quarter ending March 31, 2019, with net revenue rising 129% to $6.5 million from $2.9 million for the same time period in 2018. The rise in revenue was due to the addition of adult use sales in Canada. Net revenue increased 15% sequentially from $5.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

3 Ways to Buy Into Marijuana Stocks Without the Risk

Sure, these stocks won’t rise as much as some of the pure marijuana stocks. But, you know what? They won’t fall as much either and they’ll still be able to reap potential billions in revenues derived from cannabis. With that, here are the 3 top partners of the marijuana stocks and why you should focus on them.

Arcadia Biosciences

Just two months after announcing the launch of Arcadia Specialty Genomics™, a new cannabis-dedicated division of agricultural crop improvement, the company has released images of its first crop of sun-grown, Hawaiian hemp. Arcadia’s new cannabis unit, cultivates six Hawaiian hemp strains on its 10-acre Hawaiian facility.

In Other News

Charlotte’s Web Holdings

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CWEB) (OTCQX: CWBHF) announced the pricing of its previously announced underwritten public offering 7 million common shares at C$20 per share. The offering should raise approximately C$140 million. As the shares are being sold by current shareholders, the company will not receive the proceeds from the offering. The selling shareholders have additionally granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase another 15% of the common shares offered in the proposed public offering. Canaccord Genuity Corp. will act as the sole bookrunner for the offering.

Alternate Health

Alternate Health Corp., (CSE: AHG) (OTCQB: AHGIF) is looking to expand into Latin America. Today the company announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Oltecate Enterprises, a COFEPRIS-licensed Mexican CBD distributor. Under the agreement the parties will establish a Mexican corporation with the name of Alternate Health Latin America S. de. R. L. de. C.V. (“AHLA”). Alternate Health will own 55% of the company and Oltecate will own 45%. Upon closing, Federico Cabo, owner of Oltecate Enterprises, will receive 1,500,000 common shares of Alternate Health.

Terra Tech

Terra Tech Corp. (OTCQX: TRTC) announced its financial results for the third quarter ending on March 31, 2019. Year-over-year, revenue for the quarter declined from $8.6 million in 2018 to $7.4 million. Management credited the decline in revenue to higher tax levels in the state of California, which depressed sales figures. Nevertheless, the company’s net loss for the quarter also declined, falling from $12.2 million in the first quarter of 2018 to $5.1 million. Likewise, the gross margin grew from 36.2% to 54.4%.

Neptune Wellness Solutions

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the assets of SugarLeaf Labs, LLC and Forest Remedies LLC, a registered North Carolina-based commercial hemp company providing extraction services and formulated products, for $150 million. Included in the acquisition is a 24,000 square foot hemp production facility capable of producing 1.5 million kilograms of hemp annually. Under the agreement, Neptune will pay $12 million in cash and $6 million in common shares upon closing. Depending on the fulfillment of certain milestones, Neptune will pay an additional $132 million over the next three years in a combination of cash and common shares. The transaction is expected to close on or around July 31, 2019.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtMay 9, 2019
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Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) reported financial results in Canadian dollars for the first quarter ending March 31, 2019, with net revenue rising 129% to $6.5 million from $2.9 million for the same time period in 2018. The rise in revenue was due to the addition of adult use sales in Canada. Net revenue increased 15% sequentially from $5.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The company reported net revenue of $6.4 million. The net income was $427,693 on operating expenses of $13.8 million. The earnings per share on a diluted basis were 48 cents.

“In the first quarter of 2019, the business performed in line with our expectations. We continue to stay laser-focused on our strategy of building our supply chain, distribution, intellectual property and brand portfolios,” said Mike Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group. “We’re delighted to have officially closed our transaction with Altria and to kick off a relationship we expect to lead to significant growth and value creation. Altria’s investment and the services that Altria will provide to Cronos Group will enhance our financial resources and allow us to expand our product development and commercialization capabilities.”

CBD Oil Sales

Cronos Group said that benefited from increased sales in CBD oil, which carried no excise tax reduction and increased sales of dry flower.  The company reported that 1,111 kilograms were sold in first quarter 2019, representing a 122% increase from 501 kilograms sold in first quarter 2018, primarily driven by increased cannabis production and the launch of the adult-use market in Canada. Kilograms sold increased 7% quarter-over-quarter from 1,040 kilograms sold in fourth quarter 2018, primarily driven by increased cannabis production.

Cronos said that the cost of sales before fair value adjustments per gram sold was $2.69 in first quarter 2019, representing a 14% decrease from $3.13 in first quarter 2018, and an 11% decrease from $3.02 in fourth quarter 2018. The decrease in year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter was driven by increased productivity in its cultivation operations.
Gorenstein added, “Additionally, the launch of Cronos Device Labs announced earlier this week is an exciting next step on our journey to become a leader in cannabinoid innovation. Vaporizers have become one of the most popular forms of cannabis consumption, and we see a clear opportunity for Cronos Group to bring the next-generation of vaporizer products designed specifically for cannabinoids.”

Altria Update

In March 2019, Altria Group completed its investment of $2.4 billion in Cronos Group. The Altria Investment represents a 45% economic and voting interest in Cronos Group and a warrant, which is exercisable over the next four years, to acquire an additional 10% equity stake if exercised in full

 



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