It's almost as if marijuana stocks are taking a late summer break. There weren't many big developments in the sector this week, following a rather eventful few weeks when most marijuana majors reported earnings.
But this is a young, restless corner of the stock market, so there's almost always something happening. Here's a pair of items that weed investors noted and reacted to over the past few days.
Aurora Sells out of TGOD stock
Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) has become one of the most important marijuana stocks through acquisitions. These numerous purchases include stakes in other publicly traded cannabis companies. One of these was fellow Canadian grower and distributor The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (OTC: TGODF).
At least until recently. This week, Aurora announced that it has sold its considerable position in TGOD, booking a tidy profit on the sale. All told, it unloaded a bit over 28.8 million shares of the company for $3 Canadian apiece, for total consideration of CA$86.5 million. That's around 50% higher than what Aurora paid for the stock when it first acquired it in early 2018.
Aurora said that TGOD basically became surplus to requirements once Aurora had Whistler Medical Marijuana in its portfolio. Aurora's purchase of that company closed in March.
At the time, the buyer said Whistler "provides Aurora with a premium and differentiated organic certified product suite, expanding both its medical and consumer offerings, and reinforcing Aurora's presence in the well-established West Coast cannabis market."
Like most peers in Big Cannabis, the acquisitive Aurora is always on the hunt for capital. Offloading a big stake in a thus-far unprofitable rival feels like a fast, effective, and relatively painless way to raise some dosh. Aurora shareholders would probably prefer the company to continue building our its own operations rather than amassing stakes in peers. The TGOD position was considerable -- it gave Aurora around 10.5% of the company.
This might not actually be the end of Aurora's involvement in TGOD. The former still holds warrants giving it the right to buy 16.7 million shares of the latter.
Tilray target price pruned
On Tuesday, Cowen analyst Vivien Azer chopped her price target on Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) stock to $60 from the previous $150. For those counting at home, that's a 60% reduction. It's rare that analysts reduce their targets so drastically.
So after that, Tilray shareholders deserted the stock in droves, right? Well, actually, no, they didn't. In fact, following Cowen's evisceration, the stock price rose, closing 17% higher on the day.
What gives? Although we can't crawl inside the mind of every investor, we can tease out a pair of potential reasons.
First, as with other marijuana stocks,1 Tilray has really taken it on the chin this year. It's been the victim of fears of oversupply in the key Canadian market. It also habitually posts net losses. A weak Q2 earnings report didn't help; since the start of this year, the shares have declined 54%.
Second, the Cowen analyst didn't change her recommendation on Tilray -- Azer still considers it to be a buy. And a buy with significant upside at that. The new $60 target is nearly double the stock's most recent closing price.
So in the end, Azer is still bullish on the stock, and she has justification for this. Tilray seems well positioned to take advantage of the so-called "second wave" of Canadian recreational cannabis legalization. This action will sanction the sale of cannabidiol-derived product such as edibles.
Also, a recently licensed cultivation and shipment facility in Portugal is already gearing up for shipments to European markets. This outlet gives Tilray fast and effective access to certain countries on the continent that either already have nascent marijuana markets or are likely to soon open them.
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