GW Pharmaceuticals, PLC (GWPH)

gwpharma-logoGW Pharmaceuticals, PLC is a biopharmaceutical company based in United Kingdom, and is engaged in the research, manufacture, and commercialization of cannabinoid-based prescription medicines that contain controlled substances, and plant-based pharmaceutical products to meet the needs of patients in a range of therapeutic conditions. The company maintains in-house control over all aspects of the development process of their cannabinoid products, such as botanical research, extraction technology, drug formulation, clinical trials, and regulatory affairs.

Founded in 1998, GW Pharmaceuticals, PLC has become a world leader in cannabinoid science. The company has developed an international network of the field’s most prominent scientists. In 2007, the collaboration of GW and Otsuka paved the way for the significant expansion of the early cannabinoid research activities of GW. Both companies have collaborated in researching novel cannabinoids as potential treatments for central nervous system disorders. GW also has an in-house program that researches cannabinoids as treatments for Type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders.

The lead product of GW Pharmaceuticals, PLC is Sativex, which has been either approved for use or recommended for approval in 24 countries. Sativex is a treatment for symptom improvement in patients suffering from moderate to severe spasticity brought about by Multiple Sclerosis.

Sativex is currently in Phase III clinical development for cancer pain treatment. To provide patients from different countries with easy access to Sativex, the company has entered into separate licensing agreements with Almirall in Mexico and Europe; Bayer Healthcare in Canada and the UK; Otsuka Pharmaceutical in the U.S.; Novartis in Africa, Asia and the Middle East; and Neopharm in Israel.

GW Pharmaceuticals, PLC is listed under the symbol GWPH on the NASDAQ Global Market, as well as on AIM, a market of the London Stock Exchange. The company is licensed to work with controlled substances for medical research purposes. The company continues to focus on developing a product portfolio of cannabinoid-based prescription medicines, including Epidiolex and Sativex Oromucosal Spray, to meet the needs of patients in a wide range of medical indications.


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4 Hot Cannabis Stocks Growing Now

It’s not often you get to witness the opening of a whole new market sector. After last year’s move by the Canadian Parliament to fully legalize marijuana and cannabis products throughout the country, and the increasing numbers of American states south of the border pursuing similar legalization policies, we are seeing just that. As Giadha Aquirre de Carcer, CEO of New Frontier Data, put it in a report on the worldwide cannabis market, “The legal cannabis industry has truly gone global; even in the face of extensive prohibition, cannabis consumption grows, and attitudes and challenging perceptions about the typical cannabis user continue to shift.”It’s an exciting time, one that is also opening new pathways for investment. In this article, we’ll dip into the TipRanks database to look at four companies that have generated headlines in recent months. All four are well on the way to establishing themselves as players in the cannabis sector, but each one is following a separate path to success. Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (TSE:ACB)Aurora is staking its future on size, positioning itself as the world’s largest supplier of cannabis products to the medical market. And large is definitely the right word – Aurora’s current production stands at more than 25 metric tons per quarter, and is on track to exceed 600 tons annually by the end of 2020.The company’s scale has brought Aurora both benefits and costs. On the positive side, Aurora gains economies of scale. High-volume production provides a higher revenue stream, and open doors to bulk customers that are unavailable to smaller producers. This was clear in last month’s quarterly report, which showed a 367% year-over-year gross revenue increase, and a 99% quarter-over-quarter increase in production. The cost to the company was clear, however. Aurora reported a loss of $158.4 million Canadian, coming out to 16 cents per share.The operating loss, despite the production and revenue increases, stems from the company’s heavy investments in increased acreage and growing facilities. Management expects that the benefits of those investment – in higher production and lower costs per unit sold – will outweigh the costs and begin generating positive earnings by Q4.Early last month, five-star analyst Martin Landry (Track Record & Ratings), GMP FirstEnergy’s expert on the consumer health sector, weighed in on Aurora, saying, “Data tracking dried flower inventory availability for online recreational cannabis stores in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, or about 73% of the Canadian population, found that Aurora has been best performer with a more than 25% share of in-stock SKUs since the start of the year.” Landry expects that Aurora will become the industry leader, building on that strong presence. He gives the company a price target of $15 Canadian, suggesting an upside of 48%.Overall, Aurora gets a ‘Strong Buy’ from the analyst consensus, based on 6 buys and 1 hold given over the past three months. The company’s average price target, $14.33 Canadian, and current share price, $10.13 Canadian, give an upside potential of 41%.View TSE:ACB Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Canopy Growth (TSE:WEED)Like Aurora, Canopy is a giant in the cannabis industry. By market cap, it’s the largest company in the sector, and has the second highest production – a reversal of Aurora’s numbers. And while Aurora is positioning itself to supply the medical market, Canopy has put itself squarely in the recreational segment of the cannabis field. In a widely publicized move at the end of last year, Canopy was partially acquired by Constellation Brands (STZ), the alcohol giant that owns two of Mexico’s largest beer brands.Canopy is also investing heavily in future production and the American market; the company is scheduled to approve an acquisition deal with US grower Acreage on June 19. The move, in which Canopy will put down $300 million for rights to finish the purchase “if and when” the US Federal government legalizes marijuana nationally. The move will give Canopy an ‘in’ for the US market, when restrictions on interstate trade are lifted.Looking at the two acquisition plans together, it’s clear that Canopy is eyeing the American recreational cannabis market. Even if the Federal government does not legalize marijuana any time soon (putting the Acreage deal on hold), Canopy’s partnership with Constellation Brands gives it a chance to develop cannabis infused beverages with a line on distribution networks in the US and worldwide.Writing from Alliance Global Partners, Aaron Grey (Track Record & Ratings) points out that Canopy’s Acreage deal, should it be approved, will position Canopy to take the lead in the US cannabis market, the world’s largest. He also points out the importance of the company’s profitable base in Canada’s recreational market: “[While we do] not foresee Canopy being profitable until FY21, expect the company to be profitable in the Canadian cannabis market as it continues with its international expansion.”Canopy’s size – in production and market cap – along with its profitable Canadian base business, underlies its "Moderate Buy’ analyst consensus rating. In the last three months, Canopy has received 6 buy ratings and 4 holds. WEED shares sell in Toronto for $55 Canadian; the average price target of $80 Canadian gives the stock a 45% upside potential.View TSE:WEED Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail Charlotte’s Web Holdings (TSE:CWEB)The US state of Colorado has been a leader in the cannabis legalization movement, making it a natural home for US cannabis companies. Based in the city of Boulder, Charlotte’s Web recently up listed to the Toronto Stock Exchange, making it the first American cannabis company to do so. The company’s niche – hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) extracts and products – while not fully legal under US Federal law, is more widely accepted at the state level than THC-derived cannabis products and can be sold online in the United States.CBD products, in both the consumer health and prescription markets, are growing increasing popular in the US. Charlotte’s Web has capitalized on that, and now has a presence in over 6,000 retail locations around the country, and is seeing increasing business online. In response to increasing demand, the company has ramped up its production capabilities, and is now growing on double its 2018 acreage. Management expects to produce in excess of 500 metric tons of hemp and hemp products this year, and predicts that revenue will double to $145 US.Charlotte Web’s greatest advantage, however, is not the popularity of its product or the increasing demand and production. Rather, it’s that the company is already profitable. After its IPO in 2018, the company generated earnings of 16 cents per share, and that number is expected to hit 33 cents this year and 75 cents in 2020.Jason Zandberg (Track Record & Ratings), five-star analyst with PI Financial, notes all of this in his recent review of CWEB stock. He points out, “CWEB has now shipped first orders to three national brand supermarket/grocery and drugstore retailers in select states, with shipments to a fourth commencing post-Q1. Also, e-commerce sales, which accounted for 49 per cent of total sales in the quarter, grew by 60 per cent year-over-year…”Zandberg sees CWEB generating 2019 revenues of $142.9 million, in line with the company’s guidance, and predicts that 2020 revenues will exceed $300 million. Building on these upbeat forecasts, he sets a price target of $30 Canadian for CWEB shares, suggesting an upside of 102%. His target for the stock is only slightly more optimistic than the conventional wisdom. The average price target on CWEB in Toronto is $29.50 Canadian; with a share price of $14, this gives the stock a 98% potential upside. The analyst consensus, a ‘Moderate Buy,’ is based on 2 buy ratings.View TSE:CWEB Price Target & Analyst Ratings Detail GW Pharmaceuticals, Plc. GWPHThe last article in today’s look at cannabis market leaders is also an early entrant to the field, and the only one to trade on the US markets. GW Pharma formed in the UK, in 1998, to conduct research into medical uses of both CBD and THC, the main active compounds in cannabis. Last year, the company received approval for its cannabis-based epilepsy drug, Epidiolex. Sativex, a treatment for symptoms of MS, has been on the markets since 2010.GW’s niche in the cannabis world is a bit unique. It’s not going for the recreational market at all, nor is it interested in the consumer health sector. It is a traditional pharmaceutical company, that saw the potential for cannabis-based prescription medications early on, and is now reaping the benefit of that very early entrance to the field.In its last quarterly report, GW publicized the results of the Epidiolex launch. Writing from Piper Jaffray, Danielle Brill (Track Record & Ratings) said, “GWPH continues to deliver. We think the growth trajectory will continue over the coming quarters given expected EU launch, ongoing dose-titrations, increasing penetration into adult population, transition of remaining expanded access program patients to commercial product, and expansion into new indications.” Her $210 price target on the stock (a 13% boost from her previous target), suggests an upside of 22%.Paul Matteis (Track Record & Ratings), of Stifel, also sees a bright future for the company. Writing of the Epidiolex approval and initial sales, he points out both the forecast-beating profits and management’s prudent words of caution: “GW reported an extremely strong 1Q with $33.5M in Epidiolex sales, consensus was ~$16MM. While the 600%+ q/q rev growth rate was spectacular, management was careful to remind investors that the quarter benefited from ~5 months of pent-up demand and patient-finding efforts.” Matteis gives GWPH a ‘Buy’ rating with a target of $227, or a32% upside from current levels.GW Pharmaceuticals has a unanimous analyst consensus of ‘Strong Buy,’ based on 10 buy ratings. The stock is trading for $170, and the average price target of $219 gives an upside of 28%.View GWPH Price Target & Analyst Ratings DetailFind out more about these four leading cannabis stocks, and many more, with TipRanks’ Stock Comparison Tool.Canopy, Charlotte's Web, Aurora, and GW Pharma in the Stock Comparison Tool

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) Should Find a Place in Your Portfolio

June has been one roller coaster ride for cannabis stocks. First, the FDA reported that CBD be treated like a drug causing cannabis stocks to decline, then a slurry of upgrades caused some cannabis stocks to soar and now the whole industry is rebounding with overall good investor sentiment.Honestly, no surprises for such a volatile industry. This volatility, surprising last-minute news and enormous swings are nothing new for cannabis stocks. Although one stock was particularly interesting. When the FDA reported its ‘findings’ for CBD, GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) seemed to explode.From a technical standpoint, GWPH is a very interesting stock. Unlike most of the industry, GWPH is trending positively beyond any normal cannabis stock consolidation. In fact, the stock is looking more like an incredibly bullish long-term buy. Why is GW Pharmaceuticals so interesting? First of all, after the FDA’s ruling on CBD, GWPH stock jumped. Why? Because the company owns one of the only CBD products approved by the FDA for treatment of both childhood-onset forms of epilepsy. The drug itself is called Epidiolex and you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the weeks to come. Having close ties with the FDA is a really good asset to have. Although letting companies have free reign over CBD would be good for everyone, the government is still in charge of consumer safety. Federal bodies like the FDA won’t just back down from controlling weed products or CBD. It’s still going to be a tax, health and legal issue. So don’t expect the FDA to just wipe its hands clean and forgive or forget CBD products.Another important factor is that GW Pharmaceuticals is neither a Canadian or American company. It’s located and licensed in United Kingdom. Why is important? Because the European market is an incredibly valuable future marketplace for many big producers including Canopy and Aurora. Having a stationed and licensed cannabis company in any European country makes it an incredibly valuable proposition for investors. Companies like GW Pharmaceuticals will build resistance within their governments to prevent larger cannabis companies from simply setting up shop in their markets. Depending on how Brexit plays out, the final deal with the EU might either boost GW Pharmaceuticals or restrict its access to Europe. But most likely, some type of free trade agreement will exist between EU states and United Kingdom since trade is such an incredibly valuable part of Europe. Additional, European sentiment towards pot is positive. Most European countries are fairly libral when it comes to legalization and taxation of weed. Remember, pot was legal in parts or Europe way before North America.For investors, GW Pharmaceuticals looks like a great stock. The company itself reported better than expected sales for Epidiolex and announced recently positive results from its phase 3 study of the drug treating another rare type of epilepsy. And overall its been on a run and consolidating in a tight range upwards. It’s also a great stock to diversify away from strictly American and Canadian cannabis market. Looks like a great investment for the future of global cannabis.Analysts seem to agree. The cannabis player stands as a 'Strong Buy' name among Wall Street analysts, according to TipRanks. In the last three months, GWPH has won 10 bullish 'buy' recommendations. With a return potential of nearly 23%, the stock's consensus price target lands at $219.56.To read more on the nitty gritty of what’s going on in the rising cannabis industry, click here. Read more on GWPH: * Medicinal Cannabis Stock GW Pharmaceuticals Could Run Much Higher Over Time * Analysts Have Chosen: GWPH, APHA and CGC Are Top Cannabis Stock Picks More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Village Farms (VFF) Has a Lot Going for It * Hexo Has Difficult Days Ahead, Analyst Says * Square (SQ) Growth Slowing, But Evercore Remains Bullish on the Stock * This Analyst Sticks with His Buy Rating on Aphria (APHA) Stock, But Trims Price Target

Zynerba Up on Second Patent for Cannabidiol Candidate in 2019

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Has GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) Outpaced Other Medical Stocks This Year?

Is (GWPH) Outperforming Other Medical Stocks This Year?

Zacks.com featured highlights include: Cooper, GW, Tencent and Bloom

Zacks.com featured highlights include: Cooper, GW, Tencent and Bloom