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Weekly Cannabis Stock News: Canopy Growth Gets a Recommendation Boost

By Eric Volkman – Aug 30, 2019 at 7:30PM

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The week was a good news/bad news one for Canopy Growth, while Curaleaf generally pleased the market with its latest financials.

As the summer drifts away, so too does the latest quarterly earnings season. Along with other equities, most marijuana stocks have already reported their most recent figures.

Most, but not all. This week, we saw one cannabis company report, while another received a recommendation boost but also a tough reminder of how its stock has been performing lately. 

Marijuana leaf with sun shining behind it.

Image source: Getty Images.

Canopy Growth wins a thumbs-up, but...

The week started off quite well for Canopy Growth (CGC 7.90%). Prior to market open on Monday, it received a significant recommendation upgrade from Seaport Global, one of the investment banks tracking the stock.

Analyst Brett Hundley lifted his stance on Canopy Growth from neutral to buy, with a price target of $31 per share. (It closed at $24.89 on the previous trading day; its latest closing price is $23.58.) Hundley opined that the cannabis industry, in general, presents an attractive opportunity, and Canopy Growth is poised to take advantage of this.

The analyst cited the company's portfolio of intellectual property and its research and development efforts as potential sources of value-added goods that could be attractive to the market. He was also complimentary about Canopy Growth's balance sheet, which is seen as relatively clean compared to peers in this frequently debt-burdened sector.

Later in the week, though, Canopy Growth's major shareholder Constellation Brands (STZ 1.23%) said it would take a $54 million hit from its investment in the marijuana stock. Much of this decline came in the wake of Canopy Growth reporting its Q1 of fiscal 2020. This was a tough period in which revenue actually declined on a quarter-over-quarter basis, and the net loss was far deeper than the average analyst estimate.

Since the company reported the mentioned quarter in mid-August, investor enthusiasm for the stock has weakened. The Seaport Global recommendation was certainly a boost, but that terrible Q1 performance has left a lingering bad impression. And Constellation Brands' stark reminder that Canopy Growth has burned a big strategic investor is not helping.

Curaleaf Q2 indicates robust growth despite widened loss

Earnings season might be vanishing in the rearview mirror, but there's still the occasional marijuana stock reporting its fundamentals. This week saw Q2 of fiscal 2019 results handed down by Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF -2.20%), and although every line item was not a bright spot, investors generally liked what they saw.

The company's net revenue more than tripled on a year-over-year basis, although net loss was almost five times as deep and worse than the average analyst estimate.

Yet losses in the marijuana industry are common and expected, particularly considering the expenses required to ramp up presence and footprint in most segments of this business. Curaleaf is no different, as evidenced by its recent deal to buy vaporizer cartridge maker Cura Partners. The price tag? A cool $950 million. On top of that, it's also paying $875 million to take over dispensary operator Grassroots.

Curaleaf's Q2 wasn't a flame-out like Canopy Growth's Q1. Investors these days are far more sunnier about the former company's prospects -- the stock was among the best performers in the sector over the week, rising by 10%.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Constellation Brands. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Canopy Growth Stock Quote
Canopy Growth
$3.14 (7.90%) $0.23
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.
$4.90 (-2.20%) $0.11
Constellation Brands, Inc. Stock Quote
Constellation Brands, Inc.
$237.40 (1.23%) $2.88

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