Here's How Green Thumb Industries Delivered Record-High Sales in Q1

The last time Green Thumb Industries (NASDAQOTH: GTBIF) announced its quarterly results, they showed that revenue had soared 237% year over year. It was a different story for the cannabis company's bottom line, though, with a wider net loss than the prior-year period.

Green Thumb Industries (GTI) announced its first-quarter results after the market closed on Thursday. And again there was good news and bad news for investors. Here are the highlights of GTI's Q1 update.

By the numbers

Once again, Green Thumb Industries announced strong revenue growth. The company reported record-high Q1 revenue of $27.9 million. This reflected a 155% increase from the prior-year-period total of $10.9 million and 34% sequential growth. It also handily beat the consensus Wall Street revenue projection of $20.43 million.

How did the company's bottom line look in the first quarter? Not nearly as good.

GTI reported a net loss of $9.7 million, or $0.06 per share, on a GAAP basis, versus $3.1 million, or $0.02 per share, in the prior-year period. Analysts expected a Q1 net loss of $0.01 per share. On a brighter note, GTI's adjusted EBITDA improved from a loss of a little over $1 million in the prior-year period to positive EBITDA of $4.9 million in the first quarter of 2019.

Green Thumb Industries ended the first quarter with cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $117.1 million. This reflected a decrease from the $146 million on hand as of March 31, 2019.

Behind the numbers

How was Green Thumb Industries able to achieve record revenue in the first quarter? The company enjoyed organic growth in its consumer products and retail businesses. This growth was fueled by the expansion of its branded product distribution, new store openings, and increased overall demand from consumers.

The company generated sales in nine states in Q1. New sources of revenue during the quarter included its sale of consumer products to third-party retailers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Nevada, as well as the launch of its retail operations in Florida.

While revenue looked great for GTI, the company's bottom line worsened significantly. Expenses increased 322% year over year to $26.6 million. One major culprit behind the rise in expenses was an increased headcount to help the company scale the business.

But adjusted EBITDA looked much better for one primary reason. GTI reported a decrease in the value from a variable note receivable that totaled nearly $5.3 million. The addition of this amount enabled the company to post positive EBITDA.

There were some other notable developments during and subsequent to the first quarter for GTI as well. These include the opening of four Rise retail stores in Ohio and Florida, wrapping up its acquisition of Advanced Grow Labs, and closing on its $105 million debt financing.

Looking ahead

There's a lot for investors to look forward to with Green Thumb Industries. The company's acquisitions of For Success Holdings and Advanced Grow Labs should contribute to revenue growth. GTI also expects to close on the acquisition of Nevada-based Integral Associates in the second quarter.

Expect plenty of activity on the retail front as well. GTI plans to launch between 15 and 20 new stores this year. This will give the company a total of up to 45 retail stores, more than originally planned.

And investors will want to keep a close watch on what's happening at the federal and state level with respect to cannabis. GTI's home state of Illinois is on track to legalize recreational marijuana. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with its process to establish regulations for cannabidiol products. Legislation is also in both House and Senate committees for changing federal marijuana laws.

GTI got off to a good start in 2019. The rest of the year could be even more exciting.

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Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.