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3 Pot Stocks That Could Become Big Winners in 2020

By Mark Prvulovic - Jul 25, 2020 at 7:59AM

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These cannabis companies have a lot of good things going for them right now. Here's why.

Many cannabis companies have fallen out of favor over the past few months amid growing financial losses and other issues. However, there are a few businesses out there that are not only doing surprisingly well for themselves, but remain just as promising for investors as they were before this coronavirus pandemic began.

If you're looking to invest in a handful of high-quality cannabis stocks but aren't sure where to look, here are three companies that you should seriously consider adding to your portfolio in 2020.

Marijuana plant held by a pair of tweezers.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Village Farms International

Village Farms International (VFF -1.57%) is one of the more interesting small-cap cannabis companies on the market. Originally a produce company struggling in the historically margin-thin vegetable market, Village Farms ended up making a strategic shift into growing marijuana instead.

Despite the company's small market cap of only $340 million, Village Farms has earned a reputation for being one of the most cost-effective growers on the market. A big reason for that has to do with Pure Sunfarms, a highly efficient cultivation operation in which Village Farms owns a majority stake.

Total cannabis cultivation costs came in at $0.64 per gram for its first fiscal quarter, a massive improvement from the $1.04 per gram seen in Q1 2019. That's remarkably cheap by industry standards, and it makes Village Farms competitive with many of the largest cannabis companies on the market.

Village Farms is also one of the few cannabis companies that have been consistently profitable. The company reported a net income of $4.2 million in Q1 2020, marking the fifth consecutive profitable quarter for the business. Despite this, the company trades at a modest 2.1 price-to-sales (P/S) ratio -- quite cheap, even within the cannabis industry.

Pure Sunfarms is already one of the leading cannabis brands in Canada's largest provincial market, Ontario, and is already the top-selling brand in terms of dried flower sales. Despite being a smaller company overall, Village Farms is handily competing with the big names in the cannabis industry.

Marijuana plants in a growth facility.

Image source: Getty Images.

2. Curaleaf

In the U.S., Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF 1.97%) is one of the largest multistate operators (MSOs) on the market. While still not profitable yet -- fiscal fourth-quarter losses came in at $15.1 million -- Curaleaf has been growing at a very fast pace. Quarterly revenues are at $105 million, up 29% from the previous quarter and 158% higher than the same period last year. At the same time, Curaleaf's portfolio of 57 operational dispensaries makes it one of the largest MSOs in the U.S. in terms of retail presence.

Curaleaf is also in the midst of acquiring another MSO, Grassroots, in a deal that would make Curaleaf the world's largest cannabis company in terms of combined revenue. The deal would expand Curaleaf's presence from 18 to 23 states, with a portfolio of 135 dispensary licenses as well as 88 operational dispensaries.

The big question for Curaleaf is when exactly it expects to start making a profit. If investors have learned anything from the decline of other large cannabis companies like Aurora Cannabis (ACB 10.00%), it's that endless growth can't justify a lack of profitability forever.

The good news is that the rest of the company's financials are quite healthy. Among other issues, many marijuana companies ended up with gargantuan goodwill figures on the books after making acquisitions in 2019 and earlier. These same companies faced major losses when they had to make goodwill adjustments earlier this year. In contrast, Curaleaf has about $573.8 million in goodwill and intangible assets compared with its $3.9 billion market cap.

That's pretty good, considering just how much Curaleaf has expanded in the past via acquisitions. In comparison, Aurora Cannabis' goodwill and intangible assets still total about $2.9 billion, totally eclipsing its $1.3 billion market cap.

Person holding a marijuana plant up against the sun.

Image source: Getty Images.

3. Aphria

While Aphria (APHA) used to be one of the underdogs in the Canadian cannabis industry, the company has had an impressive comeback recently. Over the past four months, shares of Aphria have more than doubled. In comparison, the Nasdaq is up 55% over the same time frame.

This jump isn't totally surprising, especially because many investors have argued that Aphria was undervalued considering its financial results. Aphria has been one of the few profitable cannabis companies in the past. In its recent third-quarter 2020 financial results, the company reported $5.7 million net income on $144.4 million in total revenue. In comparison to the same time last year, Aphria's revenue figures have almost doubled.

The bulk of Aphria's revenue doesn't come from Canadian cannabis sales, but instead stems from its German distribution subsidiary, CC Pharma. About $88.3 million in income during Aphria's most recent quarter came from distribution revenue, in comparison to the $64.4 million brought in by cannabis sales.

Considering Aphria's dependence on international revenue from CC Pharma, many investors were worried that the European Union could end up closing borders to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. While Aphria ended up suspending its 2020 guidance earlier this year due to this possibility, it seems right now that this kind of border closure won't be necessary after all.

Overall, Aphria has emerged from the first half of 2020 stronger than many of its competitors. With continued revenue growth and a positive bottom line, Aphria's in a pretty enviable position.

Mark Prvulovic has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nasdaq. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Village Farms International, Inc. Stock Quote
Village Farms International, Inc.
VFF
$3.13 (-1.57%) $0.05
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.
CURLF
$5.69 (1.97%) $0.11
Aphria Stock Quote
Aphria
APHA
Aurora Cannabis Stock Quote
Aurora Cannabis
ACB
$1.65 (10.00%) $0.15

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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