Tilray Soars ~60% on September 19—What Drove the Stock Up?

Tilray soars

US-listed cannabis stock Tilray (TLRY) soared to a new high of $253.80, gaining more than 60.0% on September 19. Tilray stock has risen ~1,390.0% since its IPO price of $17.00.

Tilray’s market capitalization on September 19 hovered around $23.4 billion, leading other US-listed cannabis stocks. Canopy Growth’s (CGC)(WEED) market cap is $12.3 billion, and Cronos Group’s (CRON) market cap is $2.6 billion. So, what boosted Tilray on September 19?

Tilray Soars ~60% on September 19—What Drove the Stock Up?

What droveTilray stock?

On September 19, several media outlets reported on Jim Cramer’s interview with Brenden Kennedy, Tilray’s CEO, on CNBC’s Mad Money. Kennedy noted that the marijuana industry could serve as a “hedge” for pharmaceutical and alcoholic beverage companies.

Kennedy explained, “Cannabis is a substitute for prescription painkillers, prescription opioids, and so if you’re an investor in a pharmaceutical company or you’re a pharmaceutical company, you have to hedge the offset from cannabis substitution.”

Because medical cannabis (HMMJ) has already been established in several countries, its primary hurdle is the regulatory environment in the United States and similar markets. Investors seem to be betting on a future when those regulatory hurdles could be lifted, which could allow Tilray and its peers to have a pronounced presence in the United States.

Tilray’s ascent could be driven from the September 18 announcement that the company received approval from US regulators to import its cannabis drug for clinical trials. If the company succeeds in its clinical trials, the markets could see the expansive US medical market as a growth driver.

Valuations

We believe that Tilray’s (TLRY) valuation looked stretched, with an NTM (next-12-months) enterprise-value-to-sales multiple of 115.8x. Aurora Cannabis’s (ACBFF) NTM enterprise-value-to-sales multiple is 18.4x, and Cronos Group’s NTM enterprise-value-to-sales multiple is 23.1x.