Marijuana stocks are about as risky as ever. In just the past few weeks, multiple companies have announced job cuts and changes to their senior leadership positions, including at the CEO level. There's a lot of turmoil in the industry of late, and investors are understandably spooked. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF has lost half of its value over the past six months, and some pot stocks are the lowest they've ever been. One stock that has also fallen hard is Village Farms International (VFF), down 56% during that time.
But here's why it could still be a great buy.
The stock is dirt cheap
It's almost been one year since Village Farms began trading on the Nasdaq, and it is nowhere near its $8.90 opening share price on Feb. 21, 2019. Village Farms is currently trading near its 52-week low, which would also technically be its all-time low on the exchange. However, many cannabis stocks are in the same boat. What makes Village Farms different is that, given the impressive sales that the company has amassed thus far, it's a more attractive buy than most pot stocks.
Over the trailing 12 months, the cannabis producer's sales totaled more than $150 million. Its market cap is around $265 million, making its price-to-sales (P/S) ratio less than 1.8. That's a bargain price when you consider that industry-leading Canopy Growth has accumulated 344 million Canadian dollars in revenue over the past four quarters and its market cap is close to $7 billion; it trades at a P/S of more than 26.
Even HEXO, which has taken a beating since the company pulled its forecast for 2020 and which investors have been bearish on ever since, trades at more than eight times its revenue.
Village Farms has lost significant value over the past several months, but given the company's strong sales numbers, its shares should be trading much higher. Not only that; Village Farms has a strong bottom line as well.
It has posted a profit in three of the past four quarters
What makes Village Farms stand out from other marijuana stocks is how consistently the company's been able to stay in the black. When the company released its third-quarter results in November, it was the first time that the company was in the red after three consecutive profitable periods. Village Farms posted a rare loss as it incurred a CA$12.6 million expense due to the change in the value of biological assets at its Pure Sunfarms joint venture, which the company manages with Emerald Therapeutics.
Without the expense, it could have helped the company reach breakeven and possibly post another profit as well. With strong gross margins of 69% at Pure Sunfarms, the joint venture has typically given the companies a boost in profitability. But in Q3 that wasn't the case, and Village Farms' share of the joint venture was a loss of $171,000. Assuming that there's no similar surprise expense that comes up in the company's fourth-quarter earnings, it's likely that Village Farms will have returned to profitability when it releases its year-end results. The company has not announced a date for the earnings release.
It's a good buy -- but it's not for risk-averse investors
Village Farms is cheap given its performance thus far, but that's still hasn't been enough to get investors buying the stock. A good outing in Q4 could be what sends the stock back up. However, investors will still be rolling the dice on this one, as industry-related news has weighed down Village Farms' stock in recent days and has the potential to continue to do so.
If you're OK with the industry-related risk, then Village Farms is one of the better marijuana stocks you can buy today. With Village Farms' very low price and still lots of potential growth now that the edible and ingestible market is open for business in Canada, it could be a strong year for the company.