Aurora Cannabis Analyst Lowers Price Target, Says Cannabis Company Needs 'Greater Financial Discipline'

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Over the past 12  months, Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE: ACB) shares have fallen 61%.

The Aurora Analyst

Cantor Fitzgerald’s Pablo Zuanic reiterated an Overweight rating on Aurora and lowered the price target from CA$5.85 ($4.50) to CA$5 ($3.85). 

Cantor’s Aurora Thesis

Aurora has no optionality from the entry of a consumer packaged goods investor or improved financial practices that a new CEO could impose, Zuanic said in a Thursday note. (See the analyst’s track record here.) 

“We think it is time for Nelson Peltz, a well-known shareholder activist being paid as a consultant at ACB, to call for the same greater financial discipline at ACB that he advocated for at firms such as HNZ, PEP, and MDLZ (all NC).”

The recent departure of the company’s CCO Cam Battley is one development that indicates this could occur, the analyst said. 

Aurora could have a fantastic 2020 if Mr. Peltz could also push for a CPG company to take a stake in the company, Zuanic said. 

“We recognize that the stock has much greater optionality upside than our two other OW-rated Canadian cannabis stocks (APHA and OGI).”

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The analyst doesn’t agree with the market’s analysis of Battley’s departure; he sees it as a positive that creates space for the company to “bring a David Klein-type CEO.”

Aurora’s valuation doesn’t mirror the optionality from a potential new CEO or CPG entry, he said. 

If the company were to announce both new CEO and a CPG investment, “looking at WEED and CRON, we’d say ACB would at least double to 22x last quarter’s sales. Still, that said, for 12-month price target purposes, we have lowered our PT to C$5.00 from C$5.85, as we have lowered our sales projections.”

Cantor Fitzgerald projects that Aurora will end FY2020 with CA$744 million in net debt.

Aurora Price Action  

Aurora shares were down 4.19% at $2.06 at the time of publication. 

Related Links:

Aurora Cannabis Analyst Says ‘Profitability Is Not On The Horizon’

Aurora Cannabis Trades Down After CCO Cam Battley’s Resignation

Latest Ratings for ACB

Date Firm Action From To
Dec 2019 Maintains Sell
Nov 2019 Maintains Sell
Nov 2019 Upgrades Neutral Overweight

View More Analyst Ratings for ACB
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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