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Why Tilray Inc. Is Skyrocketing Today

By Keith Speights - Updated Aug 29, 2018 at 12:05PM

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A positive Q2 update sends the Canadian marijuana stock even higher.

What happened

Shares of Tilray Inc. (TLRY) were up 19.6% as of 11:43 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. The big jump followed the Canadian marijuana grower's announcement of its second-quarter results after the market closed on Tuesday.

Tilray reported an impressive 95% year-over-year jump in revenue for the second quarter. However, the company's Q2 operational update was more important to investors than any financial metrics.

Marijuana leaf on top of $100 bill.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Quite honestly, Tilray's Q2 revenue nearly doubling from the prior-year period wasn't a big deal. The company still only made $9.7 million in the quarter. Tilray's Q2 net loss of $12.8 million wasn't noteworthy, either. Investors continue to bid Tilray's share price higher on hopes that Tilray will generate huge growth in the near future.

There are three ways that Tilray could potentially achieve the growth investors are banking on. One, of course, is the Canadian recreational marijuana market scheduled to open in October. Tilray appears to be in great shape to hit the ground running, with supply agreements in place with seven provinces and territories.

There's another Canadian marijuana market that won't open for business in October in which investors appear to be hoping Tilray will be a major contender. Cannabis edibles (including cannabis-infused beverages) and concentrates won't be allowed until next year. Large British alcoholic beverage maker Diageo plc (DEO 0.03%) is reportedly looking for a cannabis partner to target this market. Tilray could be one of Diageo's top candidates.

The third big area of growth for Tilray is in the global medical cannabis market. Tilray already exports medical cannabis to 11 countries. The most important of these markets right now is Germany, but the United Kingdom is also likely to emerge as a sizable opportunity.

Now what

Tilray's share price has shot up more than 170% since its initial public offering (IPO) in July. What's next?

One scenario is that everything goes really well for Tilray. In this scenario, the recreational market in Canada opens with a bang. Tilray's sales soar. Diageo or another major company picks Tilray and invests a large chunk of money in the company. International medical cannabis markets expand even more quickly than anticipated. Tilray stock continues to rise.

Another scenario isn't so cheery. In it, recreational cannabis sales in Canada don't take off like many think they will. Diageo goes with one of Tilray's rivals or doesn't announce a deal at all. Global medical cannabis markets grow, but only slowly. And Tilray's share price plunges.

My hunch is that we'll see a more middle-of-the-road scenario unfold. I expect Tilray stock could be pretty volatile for a while. Over the long run, the company should have significant opportunities. But I suspect that Tilray won't see double-digit gains as frequently as the stock has enjoyed over the last few weeks.

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