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Co. Still Undervalued Post Solid Q2/23
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The multistate operator is on a growth trend and just raised its free cash flow guidance for the year, noted a ROTH Capital Partners report.

Verano Holdings Corp.'s (VRNO:CSE; VRNOF:OTCQX) "solid execution" in Q2/23 led to a revenue beat, reported ROTH Capital Partners analyst Scott Fortune in an Aug. 8 research note. The company produces and sells cannabis products in the U.S. for medical and recreational uses.

241% Projected Return

ROTH maintained its US$10 per share price target on the multistate operator (MSO), the current share price of which is about US$2.93, Fortune noted. The gap between these two figures reflects a potentially significant return for investors of 241%.

Fortune also pointed out that Verano should be, but is not, trading on par with the top MSOs given its "profitability profile, lean operations and national footprint." Instead, the company is trading at 4.4 times 2023 EBITDA, whereas the top MSOs are trading at 6.9 times.

Verano remains a Buy.

Solid Q2/23 Earnings

Fortune discussed Verano's financial results for the quarter.

The Illinois-based cannabis firm generated revenue of US$234.1 million (US$234.1M), up 3% quarter over quarter (QOQ), reported Fortune. Revenue exceeded management's expectations as well as consensus and ROTH's estimates of US$231.2M and US$229.3M, respectively.

Fortune attributed the revenue beat to wholesale and retail sales in New Jersey, where it holds a leading 21% market share, and Connecticut, where it is ramping up adult-use cannabis sales and has about a 40% share of that market. New retail openings also contributed, as did relatively stable pricing. The latter, however, was offset some by weaker retail and price pressure in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Verano's adjusted EBITDA was US$71.5M, up 1% QOQ, versus below ROTH's US$72.2M projection.

Total Q2/23 opex was US$84.7M, 36% of sales, reflecting a 13% QOQ increase. Opex was higher than ROTH's forecast of  US$78M, 34% of sales.

Gross margins increased QOQ to 49.2%.

"The company continues to increase cost efficiencies and manage inventory reduction levels to reach 100 days, which should lead to margin improvement into 2024," Fortune wrote.

Cash Flow Notable

Also of note, in Verano's Q2/23, Fortune wrote, are that the company delivered on free cash flow (FCF), US$16M, and even increased FCF guidance for full-year 2023 while maintaining a capex of US$35–50M. Capex was US$8M.

Management's new 2023 FCF guidance is US$65–75M, up from the low end of US$50M.

At the end of Q2/23, June 30, 2023, Verano had US$103M in cash and US$420M in debt.

"With operating cash flow likely above US$100M on the year and 280E state tax relief (Conn., Ill., N.J.), we expect reduced deferred tax balances and additional cash flow to pay down debt (due 2026) or mergers and acquisitions opportunities in new markets or deeper in existing states," Fortune wrote.

More Growth To Come

Verano is expected to continue its growth trend throughout the remainder of this year, Fortune wrote. For Q3/23, ROTH models revenue of US$241.5M, 3% higher than that in Q2/23.

This near-term growth should come from the recently added new adult-use markets (Maryland and Connecticut), wholesale expansion in New Jersey, and new stores coming online in Florida.

However, if Verano continues controlling costs, affecting operating efficiencies and decreasing capex and inventory, these should lead to a boost in cash flow.

For FY23, ROTH estimates revenue of US$950.2M and adjusted EBITDA of US$294.5M. These estimates are tempered, Fortune wrote, given the existing challenges in the cannabis industry.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. Doresa Banning rote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor.
  2. The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. This article is not a solicitation for investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company mentioned on Streetwise Reports.
  3. This article does not constitute medical advice. Officers, employees and contributors to Streetwise Reports are not licensed medical professionals. Readers should always contact their healthcare professionals for medical advice.

For additional disclosures, please click here.

Disclosures for Roth, Verano Holdings Corp., August 8, 2023

Regulation Analyst Certification ("Reg AC"): The research analyst primarily responsible for the content of this report certifies the following under Reg AC: I hereby certify that all views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject company or companies and its or their securities. I also certify that no part of my compensation was, is or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed in this report.

Shares of Verano Holdings Corp may not be eligible for sale in one or more states. Shares of Verano Holdings Corp may be subject to the Securities and Exchange Commission's Penny Stock Rules, which may set forth sales practice requirements for certain low-priced securities.

ROTH Capital Partners, LLC expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking or other business relationships with the covered companies mentioned in this report in the next three months. The material, information and facts discussed in this report other than the information regarding ROTH Capital Partners, LLC and its affiliates, are from sources believed to be reliable, but are in no way guaranteed to be complete or accurate. This report should not be used as a complete analysis of the company, industry or security discussed in the report. Additional information is available upon request. This is not, however, an offer or solicitation of the securities discussed. Any opinions or estimates in this report are subject to change without notice. An investment in the stock may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Additionally, an investment in the stock may involve a high degree of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. No part of this report may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of ROTH. Copyright 2023. Member: FINRA/SIPC.

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