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Tilray CEO still thinks his cannabis company could be worth $100 billion even with the extreme stock market volatility

Brian Sozzi

Insane amounts of volatility in the stock market doesn’t have Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy backing down on a very bullish vision for how much his cannabis company could someday be worth.

“I think you will see three companies with $100 billion valuation, and we would like to be one of them,” Kennedy told Yahoo Finance. Kennedy, who reportedly put a $100 billion valuation tag on Tilray earlier in the year, believes Tilray will be among two other cannabis companies logging annual sales of $50 billion.

“It remains early days in this industry,” Kennedy said.

Indeed, Kennedy has the wind at his sails right now even with the broader market under severe pressure. Tilray (TLRY) shares are up an astounding 250% since the company’s July initial public offering on pure hype on future potential of the cannabis industry. More recently, Tilray has inked a medical marijuana distribution deal with drug giant Novartis. It has also joined forces with beer king AB InBev to explore cannabis infused drinks.

Each announcement has only fueled the hype around Tilray.

But 2019 promises to bring extra scrutiny of the company's financials amid high expectations and a $7 billion-plus market cap. Tilray will have to significantly improve the performance it showed in the third quarter, or risk losing the momentum behind its stock.

Tilray’s net loss, which includes stock-based compensation charges and higher operating costs, rose to $18.7 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with $1.8 million a year ago.

Other numbers of interest ahead of 2019:

-Tilray’s net selling price per gram fell to $6.21 from $7.53. The company blamed greater bulk sales of products to customers.

-Gross profit margins tanked to 31% from 55% a year ago also because of more bulk product sales. Kennedy on a conference call with analysts reiterated he sees 50% profit margins over the long term.

-Tilray has racked up $34 million in operating losses year-to-date as it works to expand its operations and pays out stock-based compensation to executives.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter@BrianSozzi

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