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Why Pyxus International Inc. Is Jumping Again Today

By Keith Speights – Oct 9, 2018 at 12:15PM

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Momentum continued from yesterday's bullish tweet about Pyxus from a well-known short-seller.

What happened

Shares of Pyxus International Inc. (NYSE: PYX) were up 19.2% as of 11:17 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. The big jump appears to be a carryover from Monday's momentum. Yesterday morning, Citron Research tweeted that Pyxus stock "could double from here as long as investors are cannabis crazy." That tweet sparked a surge in Pyxus' share price.

So what

The crucial words in Citron's tweet on Monday were "cannabis crazy." You can bet that investors wouldn't be piling into Pyxus stock if the company's only focus was on its core business of supplying tobacco leaf to cigarette makers. But Pyxus is also in the cannabis industry thanks to its indirect Canadian subsidiary FIGR, which itself has other subsidiaries. 

Shadow of dollar sign on top of marijuana leaves

Image source: Getty Images.

One of FIGR's subsidiaries, Goldleaf Pharm, received a cultivation license from Health Canada last week. Another FIGR subsidiary, Canada's Island Garden, previously obtained approval for the sale of cannabis oils and secured a supply agreement with the province of Prince Edward Island.

But Citron's tweet omitted perhaps the most important reason Pyxus stock could skyrocket: its really low stock float. Pyxus' float is only around 8.3 million shares. A stock price is more susceptible to major swings when relatively few shares are available for trading.

It's also important to note that Citron Research and its founder, Andrew Left, are well known as short-sellers. Citron is usually bearish on stocks. So for it to tweet a bullish statement about Pyxus was significant and somewhat out of character.

Now what

Investors can probably expect a high level of volatility with Pyxus stock over the next few days and perhaps the next few weeks. But the stock's gyrations won't matter over the long run. What will matter are Pyxus' business prospects.

The company still makes most of its revenue in the tobacco industry. Pyxus' subsidiaries should enjoy sales growth with the Canadian recreational marijuana market opening in a few days. Just how much growth there will be, though, remains to be seen. My view is that Pyxus is a stock for traders right now -- and not for long-term investors.  

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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