November is nothing but a memory now. For many cannabis-focused investors, that's a good thing. Most marijuana stocks again delivered dismal results last month.
But three marijuana stocks performed quite well in November. Curaleaf Holdings (OTC:CURLF), Trulieve Cannabis (OTC:TCNNF), and Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF) chalked up strong double-digit percentage gains. Here's how these three stocks succeeded while most of their peers floundered -- and whether they're smart picks to buy now.
Shares of Curaleaf soared nearly 30% last month. The primary reason for the strong performance was the U.S.-based cannabis operator's really great third-quarter results.
Curaleaf reported all-time high revenue in Q3 of $61.8 million, up a whopping 189% year over year. Several factors fueled this impressive growth. The company's medical cannabis sales picked up in the important Florida and New York markets. Curaleaf also received a revenue boost from its acquisitions in Arizona and Maryland.
While those sizzling Q3 results served as the biggest catalyst for Curaleaf, the company also achieved several other key milestones in November that made investors happy. Early in the month, Curaleaf opened its first dispensary targeting Massachusetts' adult-use recreational marijuana market. The company also expanded its Florida operations, opening new medical cannabis dispensaries in Jensen Beach and Sarasota.
Trulieve wasn't too far behind Curaleaf, with its shares jumping 26% in November. And if you liked Curaleaf's Q3 update, you'll also like Trulieve's Q3 results, which my colleague Sean Williams referred to as "the best marijuana earnings report of the entire quarter."
While Trulieve posted impressive sales figures in the third quarter -- revenue skyrocketed 150% year over year and 22% quarter over quarter to $70.7 million -- the really great news for the company was on its bottom line. Trulieve reported Q3 net income of $60.3 million, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $36.9 million.
The company continues to dominate Florida's medical cannabis market. Trulieve recently became the first cannabis operator in the state to open its 40th dispensary. At the end of 2016, the company had only two medical cannabis dispensaries in Florida.
3. Green Thumb Industries
Green Thumb Industries (GTI) stock rose nearly 15% last month. Credit another strong quarterly performance as the main catalyst.
Of these three top marijuana stocks of November, GTI delivered the most impressive revenue growth. The company's Q3 sales soared 296% year over year and 52% quarter over quarter to $68 million. While GTI enjoyed solid organic growth, some of this big gain came from its acquisition of Integral Associates.
Unlike Trulieve, GTI didn't announce a profit in the third quarter. However, the company's bottom line trended in the right direction, with a Q3 net loss of $17.1 million and adjusted EBITDA of $14.1 million, both of which reflected improvement from the second quarter.
Are they buys?
In my view, one of these three November top performers is a great pick for aggressive investors. I'm referring to Trulieve Cannabis. As Florida's medical cannabis market matures, Trulieve is poised to be the biggest beneficiary.
I also think Green Thumb Industries should have plenty of room to run. It's on track to have close to 40 retail cannabis stores open by the end of this year. GTI's home state of Illinois launches its recreational marijuana market in January, which will almost certainly provide a big sales boost to the company.
What about the biggest November winner, Curaleaf? My main hesitation is that the company's acquisition of Select brand owner Cura Partners will lead to a substantial dilution in the value of existing shares. In addition, Curaleaf's shareholder lockup agreement allows a big block of shares to be sold at the end of each quarter through March 31, 2021. This could create downward pressure on the stock. I like Trulieve and GTI better, at least for now.