Alliance Global starts coverage of 4 cannabis stocks with buy ratings, but not all manage gains

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics

Alliance Global Partners initiated coverage of four cannabis companies on Thursday and assigned a buy rating to all four stocks, namely Acreage Holdings Inc., Village Farms International Inc., Green Thumb Industries Inc. and GrowGeneration Corp.

But analyst Aaron Grey’s bullish stance failed to light a fire under all four stocks with Acreage Holdings ACRGF, -2.34%[1] last down 1.3%, despite Grey’s $15 stock price target, that is almost double its current price of $8.18.

Village Farms VFF, +1.72%[2]  rose 2% and Green Thumb GTBIF, +2.32%[3]  was up 2.9% while GrowGeneration GRWG, -0.20%[4]  added a more modest 0.8%.

Grey is expecting Acreage Holdings to benefit from new store openings, the expansion of its wholesale business and integration of the recently acquired Form Factory, and forecast that the company will be profitable by the second half of 2020.

“In addition to the fundamentals, we view the company as attractively priced given it trades 50% below the implied price from the WEED deal as we see a high likelihood of the STATES Act passing over the 7.5 year period (and acting as a trigger event for the acquisition),” he said, referring to the agreement with market leader, Canada’s Canopy Growth Corp. CGC, -6.85%[5]  , WEED, -7.03%[6]  that gives that company the right to buy Acreage as soon as cannabis restrictions in the U.S. have been lifted.

See also: Canopy Growth’s remaining CEO talks about pot company’s shake-up, and the search for his replacement[7]

The analyst assigned a C$23 ($17.26) stock price target to Green Thumb.

“We like management’s focused strategy on executing in markets where the company believes it has a strategic advantage, as demonstrated by its strong positioning in markets such as Pennsylvania and Nevada,” Grey wrote. “In addition to strong top-line trends, the business model has now inflected to profitability, which margins we expect to expand as the company scales the business.”

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