It can’t make you that confident when Nasdaq are publishing pieces like this…
These cannabis stock CEOs may lose their jobs next
If we’ve learned anything about the marijuana space over the past year, it’s that the time for promises is over. It’s put up or shut up time for these businesses, and significant underperformance will simply not be tolerated by investors for any significant length of time. With that being said, the following three pot stock CEOs may be next on the chopping block.
HEXO CEO: Sebastien St-Louis
In my view, the likeliest CEO to get the boot is Sebastien St-Louis, who leads Quebec-based HEXO (NYSE: HEXO).
By the second quarter of 2019, HEXO looked to be on track as a major Canadian player. The company’s flagship Gatineau facility was coming along on schedule, and HEXO had boosted its production capacity via the Newstrike Brands acquisition. Further, the company had struck the largest wholesale agreement with a single province in 2018 — a 200,000 kilo-in-aggregate deal over five years with Quebec.
Yet, one year later, HEXO has made plans to close and sell the Niagara facility acquired from Newstrike, and has written down the vast majority of that deal. St-Louis has also overseen layoffs to conserve capital, and has idled some of the company’s cultivation space at Gatineau.
But what might be most damning of all is commentary from St-Louis during a conference call with analysts last year that suggested HEXO would need to earn 20% market share in Canada to become profitable. That’s an insane task given that HEXO is selling its stock to raise capital and halting some of its production to reduce costs.
Unfortunately titled podcast / video he presented Oct 28, 2019 !
Cronos Group CEO: Michael Gorenstein
Another marijuana stock CEO that should consider himself on the hot seat is Cronos Group‘s (NASDAQ: CRON) Michael Gorenstein.
On the surface, Gorenstein deserves a lot of credit for helping to nab Cronos an equity investor. For those who may recall, Altria Group became a 45% equity holder in Cronos in March 2019. In return, Cronos received $1.8 billion, which was perfect given that the company only had a little more than $20 million in cash on hand prior to the deal closing. The expectation was that Cronos would use this cash to enter new markets and expand its line of high-margin derivatives. Unfortunately, investors have been sorely disappointed since March 2019.
Though Cronos did acquire Redwood Holdings for $300 million to add the Lord Jones brand of cannabidiol (CBD) beauty products to its portfolio, the buzz surrounding CBD products in the U.S. has died down in a big way. With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration putting its foot down on CBD as an additive to food and beverages, CBD sales haven’t been turning heads.
What’s more, Cronos Group’s mediocre production from Peace Naturals resulted in only a little more than $8 million in first quarter sales. Over the past five quarters, Cronos has lost almost $155 million, combined, on an adjusted operating basis. It’s simply not making meaningful progress on the operating front, which could spell doom for Gorenstein’s job security.
Tilray CEO: Brendan Kennedy
Finally, Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) CEO Brendan Kennedy should consider himself on a short leash with the investment community. It’s worth noting, though, that Kennedy is also the Executive Chairman of Privateer Holdings, which Tilray acquired last year. Privateer is Tilray’s largest shareholder, which could make removing Kennedy a bit tricky.
Kennedy looked to be steering Tilray toward greatness in 2018. The company had its initial public offering in July 2018 and quickly skyrocketed from its list price of $17 to as much as $300 on an intraday basis in September 2018. Entering 2019 with more than $500 million in cash and a well-known medical cannabis brand, Tilray was expected to have little issue delivering for investors.
Then, in March 2019, Kennedy announced plans to de-emphasize investments in Canada in favor of the United States and Europe. Though these are larger markets than Canada, in terms of peak weed sales potential, it was a really odd decision to make just over five months after recreational pot sales began in Canada. The capital outlays tied to this international push have significantly drained Tilray’s cash on hand, and recently coerced the company to sell its common stock at a less than advantageous price to raise money.
Without a clearly defined operating plan, and the company also getting blindsided by weak U.S. CBD sales, Kennedy looks to be the scapegoat for Tilray’s underperformance.
Read full story at