[Editor’s Note: This article was updated to correct the price-to-sales ratio.]
Usually I don’t like to invest in small-cap companies but New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ:NBEV) is interesting to trade as a speculative bet for the next few months or maybe years.
Although it’s in the same group as Coke and Pepsi, I do consider NBEV an alternative beverage provider. It’s perfectly set up to pursue the cannabis opportunities, specifically the potables.
The popularity of cannabis based or infused products has skyrocketed of late and the possibilities are endless. Evidence of this is the popularity of pot stocks like Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), Cronos (NASDAQ:CRON) and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY). These are intrepid companies trying to establish a new world of opportunities. So this can be a blank canvas for companies like NBEV and and I bet that they will partake in it.
Looking at Marijuana Stocks and NBEV Stock
The cannabis craze isn’t just marijuana stocks — it now includes CBD products and services. From what I hear, people call it the cure for just about every ailment on the planet. Although there is sarcasm here, I am reporting what I hear even from my friends and family. Everyone who uses it swears it did the trick and that’s all that matters.
Last year NBEV announced that they will serve potables infused with CBD. So they too will be on the band wagon. This is a trend that is not short term fad. The passion for cannabis from its fans is rare even stronger than Bitcoin. So the movement has legs and evidence is that the major mega cap companies are all rumored to be looking into this too.
On its own, New Age Beverages stock is not cheap. This is a company that loses money and sells at 5x sales. So clearly Wall Street gives it a lot of leeway for now. They just reported earnings and even though they missed expectations they grew sales 400%. But this stock draws enough shorting interest that I bet it could sport a short squeeze sometime this year.
NBEV stock is now far from its high but still is popular among investors. It is still up 212% in a year while the S&P 500 is barely green. A fairer comparison is to the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLP) which is only up 15% for the same period.
There is a good chance that NBEV stock entices shorts to bet against extreme moves up or down. So it’s a matter of time before it catches fire.
Today’s thesis is that the overall market weakness we are getting here is an opportunity to bet long on NBEV stock to capture such spike. Once this wave of negative sentiment reverses investors will buy almost every stock up with vigor. But for the controversial stocks like this one they tend to buy them faster.
Regardless of the magnitude, the bulls could cause it to breakout above $5.65 per share and that would be a trigger to target $6.70 where it last failed in April. There will be resistance around $6.1 along the way. Above the April fail would bring the sky as the limit.
What also makes this possible is that for the last few months, New Age Beverage stock has established a zone of support just below current price. So the bulls have a strong platform from which to mount their efforts.
This is not the same as saying that I like the fundamentals; I am agnostic on that front. I consider this a highly speculative and almost binary bet for profit. Since there is less science than hopium, it is important to properly size the gamble. And this is a gamble — don’t bet the farm, choose an amount that won’t break your heart or your piggy bank.
In addition to the intrinsic risks from the stock itself, I have to contend with the general market malaise from the tariff wars. It seems that the headlines are going to linger for at least another month.
Scared markets don’t usually buy frothy stocks like New Age. But when investors come to terms with the China risks, then they will buy the riskiest stocks the fastest. In other words, momentum stocks move faster in both directions, so I expect fireworks in NBEV stock soon after the markets stabilize from this tizzy.
Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of SellSpreads.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him as @racernic on Twitter and Stocktwits.
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