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MarketWatch MarketPulseJun 15, 2021
Hexo stock price target cut by Stifel and AGP after earnings disappoint, but pending deals are viewed as positive
Stifel analysts reiterated their hold rating on shares of Canadian cannabis company Hexo Corp. on Tuesday and lowered their price target to C$7.50 ($6.15) from C$10.00, after disappointing earnings led them to a "more cautious approach" to the stock. The report released Monday was similar to results from peers, most of whom have seen sequential and year-over-year declines in revenue in their latest quarter, said analysts led by W. Andrew Carter. "But the underperformance related to specific company issues in Quebec where HEXO's supply chain limitations drove the weaker sales performance," Carter wrote in a note to clients. "Up until F3Q21, HEXO's consistent sales growth while rationalizing its cost structure has differentiated the company." Hexo will likely be an a different position next year, after a flurry of M&A activity this year, but "the magnitude of the underperformance drives scrutiny for the core business and the ability to realize value from over C$1.1 billion deployed towards M&A," said the note. Hexo posted a wider-than-expected loss and revenue that fell far short of estimates. Hexo announced its third and biggest deal of the year so far in late May with news that it is acquiring privately held Redecan for C$925 million in cash and stock. That comes after the February news of the purchase of Zenabis Global Inc. for C$235 million in stock, and earlier in May, it announced the acquisition of 48North Cannabis Corp. for C$50 million in stock. Alliance Global Partners analysts also lowered their stock price target, to C$12 from C$14, but reiterated a buy rating given the pending deal closures. Hexo shares were not active premarket, but have gained 68% in the year to date, while the Cannabis ETF has gained 40% and the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

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