Cannabis Bull Market Scenario Analysis with PS Ratio Valuation
Updated: Jul 13, 2022
This valuation analysis of cannabis stocks using PS Ratios is the highest weighted factor contributing to the stocks ranked as best cannabis stocks in the Best Cannabis Stocks Analysis.
The following tables shows the analysis based on PS Ratio Valuations for 15 stocks shortlisted in terms of quarterly revenue (from cannabis) around or exceeding US$50 million. The list uses the fruits analogy and includes a combination of apriums (vertically integrated hybrid of production and retail: Trulieve Cannabis, Curaleaf Holdings, Green Thumb Industries, and High Tide), plums (Licensed Producers: Tilray, Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis) and one apple (Cannabis Technology: WM Technologies/Weedmaps).
This first table lists them in order of most undervalued (by PS Ratio), along with potential gains in a bull market.
This second table lists them in order of most revenue (last reported quarter annualized), along with potential gains in a bull market.
At this point I would recommend a review of the numbers in these tables, especially the summary items. Have a look at the Total Annualized Revenue based on latest reported quarter, the Total Market Cap and estimated Average PS Ratio for this sample of 15 companies.
The basic thesis for the price targets is based off the analysis of Nasdaq listed (Senators) vs OTC listed (Gladiators) in the Cannabis Investing 4 article. An analysis of the astronomical PS Ratios seen in the previous bull markets is presented in the Historic Bull Market Valuations page. This is the table with historical data used in both pages mentioned here:
The price targets are calculated on 4 scenarios, a baseline (PS of 5) and 3 bull market scenarios:
To The Moon: PS ratio of 10
To Mars: PS ratio of 15
To The Stars (Ad Astra): PS ratio 20
Using Meme stock lingo for a sector in bear market may seem ridiculous. But the data through two cannabis bull markets show this sector does benefit from hype, and there is a probability that the next bull market could be the real deal. Only time will tell when and how this investment thesis will play out.
The Baseline scenario (PS of 5) shows some important data points. The sector has experienced impressive revenue growth through the decade that started in Q1 2020, as analyzed in the Revenue Growth Analysis page. For that kind of growth and future prospects, a PS of 5 can be considered fair value even without a bull market.
The PS ratio used is annualized based on the last reported quarter. It is different than the traditional Trailing 12 Months (TTM) metrics. I cannot predict when the next cannabis bull market will be, hence my price targets are based on whenever the next bull market happens. But it will likely be around the time of progress in Cannabis legalization, be it the SAFE Banking Act (higher probability) or a more comprehensive reform (lower probability). As revenues increase, so do the price targets. One important catalyst that will impact valuations will be the uplisting of the US MSOs from the OTC to either the Nasdaq or NYSE. These factors have been elaborated on in the articles in the INVESTING category, that present an overview and thesis for cannabis investing.
When the bull market eventually does happen, it could be a once in a century event not seen since the end of alcohol prohibition (1933). If it plays out with similar valuations as seen in the bull markets of 2018 (Canada legalization) and 2021 (Biden inauguration), there is a good probability that the Nasdaq listed Cannabis stocks could trade at double digit PS Ratio valuations.
As shown in the Historic Bull Market Valuations page, the previous bull markets have seen double digit PS ratios for OTC listed stocks and double/triple digit PS Ratios for Nasdaq listed stocks. Points to note are that the Bull Market in 2021 was impacted by Quantitative Easing (QE) and the Meme stock phenomenon, but the rally was incomplete because there was no real cannabis business friendly reform (like SAFE Banking or uplisting) passed. But the 2018 Bull Market did have Canada legalizing for real. The QE factor might be missing from the next Bull Market. But there would be potentially some meaningful reforms passed.
How high the valuations will go in the next Bull Market depends on how much hype the sector gets in addition to the fundamentals. We have seen hype in the Tech sector with companies like Shopify Inc reaching market cap in excess of US$200 Billion and peak PS in excess of 60
before crashing to single digits PS. We have also seen hype in the Electric Vehicles (EV) sector with companies like Rivian reach peak market cap in excess of US$ 150 Billion on no revenue.
During a bull market, a PS Ratio of 10+ is good probability for Nasdaq listed cannabis stocks, and also OTC stocks prior to (or soon after) uplisting to The Senate (Nasdaq/NYSE). A PS Ratio of 15+ is also probable. These are based not just on strong fundamentals of the high quality companies, but also because the sector is prone to hype as seen in the previous two bull markets. There might also be, as seen for well-known companies in the past, a fundamentals + hype driven rally to 20+ PS Ratios. I think that 20+ PS Valuations may not be sustainable and we might see a pullback in valuations. But we have seen fundamental defying valuations in sectors like EV and Tech. Cannabis might become boosted by hype like EV, because it does present a better alternative to Alcohol and Tobacco, similar to EVs are a more sustainable alternative to vehicles using fossil fuels.
Nobody can predict the future. But I have used the color coding such that a PS of below 10 is green, with below 5 as bright green. The color coding shifts to shades of yellow when PS crosses 10, and shades of orange when PS crosses 20. Any stock that rallies beyond the Moon (PS 10) scenario will be relying on the combination of hype and momentum, in addition to fundamentals. Each investor should determine what is the preferred valuation to buy, hold or sell at, depending on their risk tolerance. The tables in this page will be updated frequently, and rankings and price targets will be revised based on performance and valuation changes. For those interested, this analysis can provide data points to reference to help with investment decisions.
For anyone interested in learning more about valuation, I recommend the videos by Aswath Damodaran, Professor of finance at the Stern School of Business at NYU. The following video gives a good introduction to Valuations, based on Revenue Multiples.
The ANALYSIS category of this blog has the other analyses incorporated into the Best Cannabis Stocks analysis. I also recommend reviewing the Cannabis Bear Market Scenario Analysis with PS Ratio Valuation page.
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Disclosure: I (username Adastra) am an investor not a trader. I am bullish on the Cannabis sector as a long-term investment (2025 and beyond), provided stocks/ETFs are carefully picked based on data-driven due diligence. Of the 15 stocks covered in the Best Cannabis Stocks analysis, I own only High Tide, which I am holding as a long-term investment. But my analysis indicates (without any guarantees) that there is a potential for impressive gains in investing in the stocks best ranked in the analysis, including WM Technology, Trulieve, Curaleaf and any other stocks that will have a dedicated page. I reserve the right to buy or sell at any time any of the stocks mentioned in this blog. I do not short stocks and never will short any stock in a company that makes the world a better place. I do not have insider knowledge of any company covered in this blog. All data used for analysis is from public sources. I have received (as of last update date of this page) ZERO funding for this blog from any of the companies featured in this blog.