Not one but two analyst price-target upgrades pushed Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF 0.59%) nearly 3% higher on Thursday. But on a disastrous day for the stock market, the shares began to obey gravity and closed 5% lower.
Green Thumb, an up-and-coming marijuana multi-state operator (MSOs), is now worth 71.50 Canadian dollars ($56.93) per share, according to Stifel analyst Andrew Partheniou in an update issued Thursday. That's well up from his previous CA$46 ($36.62) price target. His peer Mike Hickey of Benchmark has a similar feeling; he upped his price target to $42 per share the same day.
Prior to those upgrades, the stock closed at $34.89 on Wednesday. Both analysts are maintaining their buy recommendations on the shares.
In explaining his move, Hickey wrote that "We anticipate strong financial momentum and increased institutional ownership in both GTBIF and their domestic MSO cannabis peers. We believe the U.S. cannabis market offers an unparalleled return opportunity."
Given the increased momentum for marijuana reform (read: legalization) and the position of Green Thumb in the very successful Illinois market (which last year formally legalized recreational marijuana), the optimism of both men is justifiable.
But cannabis stocks these days are a real see-saw, and momentum matters. On a down day for the market, it seems many investors might have shed their more speculative holdings. Given their consistent losses and persistent hunger for cash, weed companies like Green Thumb are more speculative than most.