Canopy Growth, (CGC) - Get Canopy Growth Corporation Report Aurora Cannabis (ACB) - Get Aurora Cannabis Inc. Report and Tilray (TLRY) - Get Tilray, Inc. Report were all higher after Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage of the cannabis sector.
Analyst Glenn Mattson started Canopy and Aurora at buy and Tilray at neutral.
Mattson said he had the most optimistic view of Canadian companies that are focused on long-term value creation and gaining market share. He is also bullish on companies that have a clear path forward in the U.S.
"In the U.S. we look for companies that are building a presence in states with large populations but a limited licensing outlook," Mattson said.
"Canopy has the most aggressive approach to capturing the U.S. market (estimated to be the world's largest potentially) through its potential acquisition of Acreage Holdings." (ACRGF)
Meanwhile, Mattson isn't bearish on Tilray's business, but he worries that the distribution plan of Privateer, one of its biggest shareholders, will create an overhang on the stock.
"It remains to be seen what kind of traction TLRY will have with [cannabidiol] in the U.S., and until then we don't believe an established organic foods company should trade at the same multiple as a high-growth cannabis company," Mattson said.
Cannabidiol is a key active ingredient within marijuana. It is derived from hemp, a related plant. CBD by itself creates no high from consumption.
Aurora shares were up 2.86% to $7.36, Canopy gained 1.77% to $36.19 and Tilray advanced 0.43% to $44.41. Acreage Holdings tacked on 4.3% to $15.02.