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Better Robinhood Stock: Tilray or Clover Health?

By Keith Speights - Jun 26, 2021 at 5:04AM

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One appears to be the safer short-term pick in a battle between these two meme stocks.

Robinhood investors have jumped aboard the meme stock bandwagon this year, and Tilray (TLRY -5.17%) has been one of their biggest winners. Shares of the Canadian cannabis operator have more than doubled this year. 

More recently, investors have piled into Clover Health (CLOV 1.30%). A likely short squeeze caused the stock to nearly triple in June before giving up some of the gains.

Which of these Robinhood stocks is the better pick now? Here's how Tilray and Clover Health stack up against each other.

Person with a laptop on a desk and a bookcase in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

The case for Tilray

Tilray is a much different company now than it was just a couple of months ago. It's also a much bigger company. That's because the merger of Aphria and Tilray closed on May 3 in a deal that created the world's largest global cannabis company based on revenue.

This transaction gives the "new" Tilray the leading market share in the Canadian retail cannabis market. That status, however, could be lost once HEXO completes its acquisition of privately held Redecan.

Tilray could have an especially strong growth opportunity in Europe. The combination of Aphria's leading German medical cannabis distribution business with Tilray's cannabis production facility in Portugal makes the company a hard-to-beat force in the expanding European medical cannabis market.

The biggest prize of all, though, is the U.S. Tilray's Manitoba Harvest ranks as the leading hemp foods maker, with a sizable presence in the U.S. market. The company also now owns Sweetwater Brewing, a craft-beer maker with a focus on the cannabis lifestyle that Aphria acquired in late 2020.

These businesses could give Tilray a springboard to jump into the U.S. cannabis market if federal laws are changed that clear the way. It remains to be seen how soon federal cannabis reform will be enacted in the U.S., but the odds of it happening are arguably better than they've ever been.

The case for Clover Health

Clover Health has an intriguing business model. It's a health insurer that focuses on the Medicare market. However, Clover describes itself as "an innovative technology company improving health outcomes for America's seniors."

The company's Clover Assistant software helps physicians develop personalized care plans for patients. Clover Health thinks its technology will improve healthcare and generate attractive profit margins over the long run.

So far, Clover Health has targeted the Medicare Advantage market. It's a large market that's growing fast due to the Baby Boomer generation aging. The company hopes to use its technology to disrupt Medicare Advantage markets in states throughout the U.S. over time.

But the original Medicare plan market is an even bigger opportunity. Clover Health recently initiated a direct contracting effort to go after this market. The company expects to sign between 70,000 and 100,000 original Medicare beneficiaries by the end of 2021. To put that number into context, Clover projects Medicare Advantage membership of around 70,000 by the end of the year.

Down the road, Clover Health believes that it can apply its technology to Medicaid and commercial insurance, as well. The company maintains that it can help fix a broken U.S. healthcare system.

Better Robinhood stock?

I think that investors would be wise to take heed of Clover Health's recent warning that its share price "may rapidly decline" due to an apparent short squeeze. Because of the crazy volatility with the stock right now, I think that Tilray is the safer pick in the short term.

However, I also agree with CIBC analyst John Zamparo that Tilray doesn't have a lot of upside remaining this year after its big run. Zamparo believes that federal cannabis reform in the U.S. is a prerequisite for the Canadian pot stock to deliver further significant gains. He's probably right.

My view is that both Clover Health and Tilray could be big long-term winners. However, I wouldn't categorize either as great picks to buy right now. There are plenty of other stocks that offer much more attractive risk-reward propositions. 

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

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Stocks Mentioned

Tilray Stock Quote
$3.85 (-5.17%) $0.21
HEXO Stock Quote
$0.22 (2.05%) $0.00
Clover Health Investments, Corp. Stock Quote
Clover Health Investments, Corp.
$3.11 (1.30%) $0.04

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