Among marijuana equities, Hexo (NYSE:HEXO) stock continues to gain increased attention. An alliance with Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) and a solid base of business in its home province of Quebec have bolstered its business. Also, it looks poised to establish another niche once Canada legalizes cannabis-infused beverages.
However, departures in top management and a possible violation of advertising regulations have hurt the company. Moreover, the overall industry has suffered as supply has increased and more investors have questioned inflated valuations.
Hence, for the Hexo stock price to rise, investors need both a solid floor and a catalyst.
HEXO Is Outside of the Top Tier, But Compelling
Over the last year, it has become clear that Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON), and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) have emerged as the market leaders in Canadian marijuana. However, many investors missed the run-up in these stocks and have sought a leader among the alternatives.
Some see that as Hexo stock, but that strategy faces some challenges. Our own Luke Lango does not think Hexo will survive an inevitable industry shakeout. His prediction could easily come true. I also agree that most of the smaller marijuana stocks will disappear.
However, investors can make money in such stocks. Strangely, my best returns in trading marijuana stocks came from charting the moves in the beleaguered CannTrust (NYSE:CTST). My caution in making sure a floor truly is a floor saved me from getting back in as their scandal came to light.
Has Hexo Stock Bottomed?
Still, Hexo stock may have established such a bottom. In a recent article, I told investors to stay away until “it found a floor,” not fully realizing at the time that it might have bottomed in the $4 per share range. InvestorPlace contributor Mark Putrino outlines how HEXO stock has built support at that level. Since finding this bottom, HEXO has risen slightly to the $4.40 per share level.
HEXO has now become my favorite among the aforementioned “other” marijuana stocks. Yes, they may have pushed the envelope by advertising on Snap’s (NYSE:SNAP) platform. Also, departures in the C-suite have made some investors nervous. However, I like that it holds a 30% market share in Quebec, the province that is home to 20% of Canada’s population.
In this market, the catalyst that could boost the Hexo stock price has not yet become apparent. However, it has built a partnership with Molson Coors that could eventually bolster the stock.
This alliance offers two key benefits. It could help to make Hexo a leader among cannabis-infused beverages once Canada legalizes those drinks. It also gives HEXO a segue into the U.S. This will offer benefits as both individual states and the federal government loosen restrictions.
Should I Buy Shares?
To profit from Hexo stock, investors need both a floor and a catalyst. For one, investors must become convinced that the floor truly is a floor. Nobody on the outside can credibly rule out a CannTrust-like scandal in any marijuana stock. However, barring that uncommon scenario, HEXO appears to have established that support at the $4 per share level.
I should add that I also see the bottom holding in case more multiple compression occurs. For next year, analysts estimate that revenues will range between 185.7 million CAD ($139.8 million) and 398.3 million CAD ($299.9 million). This would mean a price-to-sales ratio of between 3.7 and 7.8 at the current $4.40 per-share price. That appears high by S&P 500 standards but comes in well under most marijuana stocks.
I also think one problem with Hexo stock involves an industry factor outside of the company’s control. After a shortage last fall, Canada now finds itself in a supply glut for dried flower. This challenges both Hexo and its peers to find a way to increase demand. That “way” could come later this year with cannabis-infused drinks.
Some believe Hexo stock will not survive an industry shakeout. However, I think both the Molson Coors alliance and the market share in Quebec almost ensure such a scenario happens through a buyout instead of a bankruptcy. This gives investors yet another reason to look at HEXO.
As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting.