Joe Biden has been inaugurated as the 46th President, just two weeks after the Democrats locked down control of the Senate with wins in both Georgia Senatorial runoff elections. These events give the Dems control of both Houses of Congress and the White House. While their Congressional margins are narrow – the narrowest possible in the Senate, where new Vice President Kamala Harris will have to cast tie-breaking votes in a 50-50 chamber – the Democrats do have the votes needed to push through their legislative agenda. And part of that agenda is Federal cannabis legislation.
Don’t expect it to happen right away, as Congress and President Biden will have plenty of other priorities to handle first. But Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, a leading politician of the Democrats’ progressive wing, promised state-level legalization in his State of the State address – and like California, New York tends to be a trendsetter. In addition, Biden has tapped Federal judge Merrick Garland as his choice to head the Department of Justice; Garland is generally seen as centrist, but he has a judicial record from the Federal bench of respecting state-level cannabis legalization regimes.
“[With] room for equity valuations to continue moving higher, we remain bullish on US cannabis and believe 2021 will be a pivotal year for the industry… We think investors will increasingly benefit from better visibility into company-specific growth rates and operational metrics through 2021… We also look for a continuation of state-led legalization initiatives,” Cormark Securities’ Jesse Pytlak noted.
Bearing this in mind, we used TipRanks’ database to take a closer look at two cannabis stocks backed by top cannabis analysts. These names received enough support from the analyst community to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating.
Aphria, Inc. (APHA)
Headquartered in Leamington, Ontario, Aphria is one of the giants of Canada’s legal cannabis sector. The company boasts a market cap exceeding CA$4 billion, and reported over CA$160.5 million in its last fiscal quarter, a year-over-year gain of 33%. That figure was a company record.
The company announced in December an agreement for merger and acquisition with competing firm Tilray, a move that will create the world’s largest cannabis company, with a market value of CA$5 billion. The agreement will see all Aphria shareholders receive 0.8381 shares of Tilray. The merged entity will operate under the TLRY stock ticker when the move is completed.
In the meantime, investors can take comfort in Aphria’s share growth. The stock is up 124% over the past 52 weeks. A significant portion of that gain has come in the 5 weeks since announcing the Tilray deal; APHA shares have appreciated 58% in that time.
Aphria has caught the eye of 5-star Cantor analyst Pablo Zunaic, who believes that the company’s prospects are “[all] about what APHA + TLRY can do in a fast-deregulating cannabis world.”
Zunaic added, “The leading Canadian company (16% APHA rec share plus TLRY 4% share), with a budding international unit (exporting to Israel, Germany Poland, Malta; production in Germany/Portugal; owned German distribution), plus ancillary assets that may be useful depending on the shape of future deregulation, should deserve a premium…”
In line with these comments, the analyst rates APHA an Overweight (i.e. Buy), and his CA$26 price target implies a 59% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Zunaic’s track record, click here)
Zunaic isn’t the only analyst bullish on Aphria. The company has 10 recent reviews, and their breakdown is 8 Buys against 2 Holds, making the analyst consensus view a Strong Buy. However, the recent share appreciation has pushed the trading price above the CA$15.09 average price target; APHA shares are no priced at CA$16.27. (See APHA stock analysis on TipRanks)
Trulieve Cannabis (TCNNF)
Trulieve is a $5.23 billion medical cannabis company, operating in California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The company’s headquarters are in Florida, the nation’s third-largest state by population, where it commands a 51% market share in the medical cannabis sector.
The rapid growth of medical cannabis has fueled a tremendous growth in Trulieve’s share price over the past year. Trulieve shares have gained a truly impressive 296% over the past 12 months.
Medical cannabis is a profitable and growing market, and Trulieve’s revenues reflect that. The company has reported a steadily increasing top line for the past two year, with the most recent quarterly report, 3Q20, showing $136.3 million, a company record and a 13% gain quarter-over-quarter.
Matt McGinley, 5-star analyst from Needham, sums up a bullish case on Trulieve, noting: “While our fundamental outlook for the industry and this company have not materially changed into ’21, prospects for federal reforms have improved as have prospects for funding that growth based on recent capital markets activity. As such, we believe multiples will re-rate higher to more appropriately reflect the high rate of growth of the industry.”
Unsurprisingly, the analyst rates TCNNF an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and sets a price target of $60.50, suggesting that the stock will grow ~38% over the next 12 months. (To watch McGinley’s track record, click here)
The Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on this stock shows that Wall Street agrees on the value of Trulieve. The rating is based on 6 unanimous Buy reviews. The average price target of $49.49 suggests an upside of ~13% from the current trading price of $43.93. (See Trulieve stock analysis on TipRanks)
To find good ideas for cannabis stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.