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Is Tilray Ready to Bounce Back?

By Prosper Junior Bakiny - Nov 19, 2019 at 6:00AM

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Could its latest earnings report signal the start of a comeback for Tilray?

Cannabis stocks have been pummeled in recent months, losing a significant amount in market value in the process. It turns out the market was far too quick to factor the potential growth of the industry into the valuation of several of the top pot companies, none of which have performed nearly as well as one might have hoped.

Leading this descent into the abyss has been Tilray ( TLRY ), whose shares climbed to as much as $180 late last year, just a few months after it went public. Tilray's shares have plunged by about 80% since, but even though the cannabis industry is still facing serious issues, the company is holding out hope it can turn things around. 

Tilray reports mixed third-quarter results

There's nothing quite like an impressive financial performance to get back in the good graces of investors. Tilray had the chance to do so when it released its third-quarter earnings report on Nov. 12, and though the company showed some modest signs of a potential turnaround, it wasn't nearly enough to whet investors' appetites.

Tilray's revenue came in slightly ahead of analyst estimates at $51.1 million, an 11% sequential increase and a more than 400% year-over-year jump. The amount of cannabis Tilray sold almost doubled sequentially, but its average selling price decreased 30%. Further, the company's $0.36 loss per share for the quarter remained pretty much flat compared to the second quarter. 

A person using a dropper to pull cannabis oil out of a glass bottle

Image source: Getty Images.

It is worth pointing out that the company's acquisition of Manitoba Harvest -- the largest hemp food manufacturer in the world -- continues to make a limited impact on its top line. Tilray closed this 419 million Canadian dollar acquisition in March and gained access to Manitoba's footprints in the U.S. hemp market. Manitoba's products are sold in 16,000 stores across North America, the majority of which are in the U.S. During the third quarter, Tilray sold about $15.6 million worth of hemp products, but that represented a 21% sequential decrease. The company's venture into the hemp market was celebrated, but so far, Tilray's hemp business has been a bit of a flop. 

Tilray is still focusing on international markets

Tilray has made several moves in its domestic market, the latest of which was its acquisition of FOUR20 -- a Calgary-based cannabis retail operator -- for CA$110 million in a mix of cash and stock. Although this move arguably strengthened Tilray's operations in Canada, probably with a view to prepare for the derivative market, the company is still focusing primarily on its international expansion.

Tilray's CEO Brendan Kennedy said:

Today, our products are available in 20 countries spanning five continents. Over the next two to three years, we expect a number of additional countries to legalize medical cannabis followed by adult-use and our global footprint puts us in an advantaged position to enter new markets when we are legally permitted to do so. 

Tilray's vision is clear: The company is looking to build a presence across much of the world and gain a notable share of the international market as marijuana becomes more widely accepted worldwide. The company set up shop in Portugal via a 2.5 million square cultivation and production capacity, and it recently made its first shipment from that facility to Germany. 

Following this strategy, Tilray could potentially gain a solid footing in the European (and other) markets, but it's important to note that this approach isn't exactly bearing fruit yet. During the third quarter, the company collected about $5.7 million from its international medical segment. 

In short, Tilray hasn't given investors nearly enough reasons to gain their trust back, and it doesn't seem likely it will turn things around anytime soon. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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