By Max A. Cherney
CannabisWatch: The Green Organic Dutchman is still building but not selling, tiny weed producer wins POT ticker lottery
Short seller Andrew Left said early Friday he was exiting his position in Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc. and had begun to short Cronos Group Inc., citing its high valuation relative to analyst price targets.
Left's Citron Research said Dec. 18 that it expected Aphria shares to climb to $8 () by the end of 2018, and in a Friday tweet said the stock had gained more than 60%. In the December report Citron said it expected Aphria to gain 40% by the end of last year. Aphria (APHA.T) (APHA.T) stock closed up 10% Friday, and has gained more than 80% since Citron made its call. Aphria said Friday ( ) that it has transferred plant cuttings from four weed straings to Denmark-based Schroll Medical. Aphria will now be one of the first pot growers to produce its own pot in Europe.
Citron did not return a request for comment.
In the same tweet, Citron said that it was short Cronos (CRON.T) (CRON.T) because the stock was trading 70% above sell-side analyst estimates. According to FactSet, there are seven analysts covering the name, with an average target price of $17.61. Including Friday's rise of 5.7%, Cronos is trading roughly 55% above the average target price, according to FactSet.
See also: Green Growth makes hostile bid for Aphria official ()
Cronos stock rose 60% since it announced the $1.8 billion investment () in the company by Marlboro-maker Altria Group Inc. (MO) Thursday, Altria's CEO said ( ) he expects the global cannabis market to reach $40 billion in 10 years with no new cannabis legalization laws, and $250 billion if pot were legal the world over. He said the company wasn't planning to stop at Cronos when investing in the industry.
Cannabis stocks largely gained Friday, with the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF rising 2.2%, and the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF(MJ) increasing 2% for the day. The world's largest pot company, Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED.T) (WEED.T), fell 0.2%, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.T) (ACB.T) was up 4.4%, and Tilray Inc. closed up 1.8%.
Other cannabis news
- MedMen Enterprises Inc. Chief Financial Officer James Parker, who resigned from his post in November amid an equity raise which it cut in half (), is suing ( /) the company in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract and wrongful termination, among other things. At the time, MedMen refused to comment on the CFO departure and said cutting the financing nearly in half was due to a "significant selloff" in the global market. MedMen closed down 6.2% Friday.
The American pot retailer said early Friday that it expects to report fiscal second-quarter earnings Feb. 27 after the closing bell.
- Canadian weed producer The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD.T) -- which has not yet sold any pot in the recreational market but is valued by investors at roughly $1 billion () -- also rose Friday, after it said would be able to increase its capacity to grow cannabis to 202,500 kilograms a year from 156,000 kilograms a year at its facilities in Canada. However, the company also said several phases of construction would be complete either at the long-end of the company's previous projected schedule, or delayed until 2021. Dutchman stock closed up 4.3% in Friday trading.
Opinion: Two cannabis companies top Harry Boxer's stocks to watch ()
- Weekend Unlimited Inc. said Friday that it was the winner of Canada's lottery for the POT ticker (). Weekend Unlimited is a tiny cannabis company with a market capitalization of $46 million and no revenue to speak of in 2018, according to FactSet.
"There has been tremendous excitement generated globally for the POT symbol. The POT lottery served to raise the profile of Canada's leadership in legal recreational cannabis and we believe it will also serve to raise Weekend Unlimited's leadership profile," Chief Executive Paul Chu said in a statement. Weekend Unlimited's over-the-counter shares rose 164% to close at $0.2159.
- Earlier this week Canada-based Organigram Holdings Inc. (OGI.V) said it had rolled () more than one million joints.
-Max A. Cherney; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 02, 2019 10:40 ET (15:40 GMT)
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