Marijuana stocks were falling again on Wednesday. The sector’s struggles that have been on investor’s radars in recent months could continue in the near-term, according to an analyst at Oppenheimer.
Large losses, leadership changes and disappointing quarterly results sent shares of some of the biggest pot sellers lower in 2019. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (ticker: MJ), an exchange-traded fund and de facto proxy for the marijuana trade, lost more than half its value over the past 12 months.
Wednesday afternoon, Tilray’s shares (TLRY) were down 2.2%, against a 1.3% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The stock lost 78% in the past 12 months and even more from an intraday high of $300 in September 2018. The company said Tuesday it was reducing staff by 10%, hoping to improve its path to profitability.
Among other marijuana stocks, Canopy Growth (CGC) was down 2.8%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB) was off 0.9%, Aphria (APHA) slid 2.5%, Cronos (CRON) lost 1.6%, Hexo (HEXO) slipped 0.7% and Constellation Brands (STZ) was down 0.9%.
Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh wrote in a note Wednesday that recent developments point to continuing challenges in the Canadian cannabis market.
Such issues include an underdeveloped retail footprint, a continued strong illicit market that is undercutting the licensed producers on price, and growing pains meeting consumer demand efficiently. He also thinks weaker players in the space could push prices down.
Former Constellation Brands executive David Klein took over as chief executive officer of Canopy Growth on Jan. 14. Parikh is upbeat about Klein’s appointment, and hopes to see more-aggressive efforts to boost the firm’s profitability prospects. Constellation Brands is a major stakeholder in Canopy.
Parikh has a Perform rating on the stock with no price target. The the stock has rallied recently—up 57% from its low on Nov. 19—but he thinks consensus estimates for the company’s bottom line are too aggressive.
“We continue to maintain shorter-term cautious views toward CGC’s prospects given continued headwinds in the Canadian market, regulatory challenges (CBD in the U.S., vapes in Canada), and internal delays in launching beverages,” he wrote.