Guest Post by Nicolas Chahine, InvestorPlace Contributor
We often hear jokes about the lofty valuations of cannabis stocks. They have huge market capitalizations with only a tiny fraction of them in actual revenues. Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) is perhaps the poster child for that joke since its short squeeze that occurred last September. Then Tilray stock skyrocketed to $300 per share in a day, but only to perhaps mark the absolute top forever.
First, let me assure you that I am not a perma-bull on pot stocks. Yes, I only trade them from the long side, but I use the technicals to guide my decisions. A few weeks ago, I shared a long entry opportunity in Tilray stock and it paid quickly.
On Monday, TLRY reported earnings and investors are happy with what they saw because TLRY stock was spiking on the headline. But in classic TLRY fashion, the knee jerk reaction was violent as the stock fell $5, then rallied at $4.
The results were mixed as management beat the sales expectations but also reported some extra expenses. For now, this is something Wall Street should ignore for as long as TLRY is a growth stock.
If this were a mature company, then investors can demand tighter profit controls, but this is a situation where the cannabis companies are plowing into completely new territory so they deserve a lot of leeway, more so than usual in fact.
The cannabis industry is still in its infancy on Wall Street. Even the so-called experts rely more on hunches and guessing to forecast the fundamentals. So perhaps until there is enough history to establish tangible expectations, I greatly rely on the technicals to guide me. Charts don’t lie and they outline the trends and important levels.
However, relying on charts doesn’t mean I completely dismiss the importance of the company metrics. Perhaps the most important one that TLRY reported last night was that it sold 2,053 kilos, which is three times that of last year. This combined with a 110% increase in revenues for the same period, which tells me that the company is executing well on its growth plans.
TLRY’s Chief Executive Officer Brendan Kennedy explained away the margin pressures by highlighting the expansion of its facilities. The company added seven new facilities, so the ramp-up time will keep profitability at odds until the revenues catch up to the expenses. Overspending is the necessary evil that growth companies have to endure.
Meanwhile, they maintain a relatively healthy balance sheet with $500 million in cash. This will ensure that they are able to pursue their next focus areas in the U.S. and Europe. This is not only by targeting the recreational legalization trends, but this also includes making the CBD and medical applications.
Bottom Line on Tilray Stock
In short, the company is succeeding in its mission, so Tilray stock should have more upside potential in the long run. Those who want to bet on its success for years to come need not to worry about the minutia of action here. Moreover, they are not going at it alone. Management struck a partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD), which validates TLRY’s efforts in my opinion. If it’s good enough for a massive company like BUD, then it’s good enough for the general investor.
Meanwhile, for those who prefer to trade the stock short term instead, the technicals can definitely provide a road map.
Year-to-date, TLRY stock came into the earnings event only up 2.4% compared to the S&P 500’s 12% for the same period. Clearly, the stock is stuck below $80 per share since December. Even worse is how TLRY compares to Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC), Cronos (NASDAQ: CRON) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB), which are up 70%, 108% and 100%, respectively, for the same period.
The overnight bounce in Tilray stock brought it into potential resistance. The area around $76 to $78 per share has been pivotal for months. This usually creates resistance as both bulls and bears want to win the battle there. In January, the TLRY bulls were able to overcome it, but only for a few days. Unlike the stock market in general, TLRY has failed to recover the ledges from which they crashed into the Christmas correction.
Specifically, $77.50 is my area of interest. If they close TLRY above it and successfully retest it for footing, I’d consider it an opportunity to trade the upside potential to recover the January highs. But even then, there are areas of resistance here and at $82 per share. So I would need to see a clear breach of the first line of resistance before I chase it long.
As for support, the bears could get more of an upper hand if they can break through $70 per share. Oddly enough, Tilray stock retested its December lows just a few days ago. This is happening while the S&P 500 is still on a tear. The wound is still fresh. Below it, there is a trap door to the mid-fifties. This is not a forecast, but merely one of the available scenarios at hand.
It is best to wait for the break out from the zones noted before chasing either the upside or the downside potentials.
As of this writing Nicolas Chahine did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.