The cannabis stock bubble has burst. There's no denying it in light of the industry's dreadful performance over the prior six months. Industry heavyweights Aurora Cannabis and Cronos Group, after all, have lost over half their value since the end of the first-quarter. Moreover, Canopy Growth also saw its shares dip by a whopping 47% during this period, despite its top dog status within the adult-use recreational marijuana space in Canada and its partnership with alcoholic beverage titan Constellation Brands.
This industrywide bloodbath, though, has arguably created a handful of extremely attractive bargains. Canada's third largest pot cultivator, Aphria (APHA), and U.S.-based pure hemp play Charlotte's Web Holdings (CWBHF 0.28%) could both prove to be stellar growth vehicles over the next 12 months. Here's what you need to know.
Aphria is simply too cheap
There are three solid reasons to consider adding Aphria to your portfolio this month. First, the company has never recovered from its Latin American asset scandal and subsequent managerial purge. Aphria's stock is still down by a whopping 50% from its 52-week high right now, despite a superb fiscal fourth quarter roughly two months ago.
Second, Aphria is one of the few Canadian pot cultivators that's profitable. That's a big deal, because it means Aphria shouldn't have to repeatedly dilute shareholders to simply fund its operations. Many of its Canadian pot peers, on the other hand, will almost certainly continue to tap the public markets on a regular basis as they slowly march toward profitability.
Third, Aphria's shares are dirt cheap. This beaten-down pot stock is being valued at less than two times next year's projected sales. That's a markedly cheaper valuation than Aurora, Canopy Growth, or Cronos Group.
On the more speculative side, Aphria could also turn out to be a top buyout candidate in the coming months. The company has an elite production capacity, a healthy international footprint, and a bargain-basement valuation. That's an attractive package for any suitor looking to quickly gain an entry point into the high-growth cannabis space. Most importantly, a buyout should come at a substantial premium to where the company's shares are trading today.
Charlotte's Web has the wind at its back
Likewise, Charlotte's Web offers a rather straightforward and easy-to-understand value proposition. The global picture is that the U.S. hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) space is forecast to mushroom into a $23.7 billion market by 2023, according to the Brightfield Group. Charlotte's Web is currently the market share leader within this rapidly blossoming segment of the cannabis industry.
Moreover, the company has taken several steps not only to maintain its alpha-dog status but also to become a dominant force within the hemp-derived CBD space. For example, Charlotte's Web has greatly expanded its commercial reach by signing distribution deals with the likes of grocery store giant Kroger and drugstore chain heavyweight CVS Health. The net result is that Charlotte's Web's CBD products can now be found on the shelves of over 8,000 retail outlets across the United States.
Despite these positive business developments and the enormous demand for CBD products, though, Charlotte's Web's shares have still dropped by an eye-catching 41% relative to their 52-week highs, thanks to the weakness across the cannabis space at large. Growth investors who don't mind buying stocks during a moody market, in turn, might want to take advantage of this recent weakness.