What goes up, must come down. But not necessarily this fast.
Canadian marijuana stocks that posted staggering gains on Wednesday fell just as fast Thursday, while U.S. multistate operators, or MSOs, were dragged down, but fared a bit better.
Tilray stock (ticker: TLRY) fell 49.7% Thursday, erasing all its gains from the prior trading day. Aphria stock (APHA) closed down 35.8%. Those companies expect to close a merger in the first half of the year. Under the deal announced in December, an investor would receive about 0.84 shares of the combined Tilray for every share of Aphria that they owned. Aurora Cannabis shares (ACB) were down 23.5%, while Canopy Growth (CGC) fell 22.1%.
ETFMG Alternative Harvest (MJ), an exchange-traded fund with exposure to the pot business, fell 24.6% from its Wednesday close. The ETF is still up about 74.5% year-to-date.
Meanwhile, Curaleaf (CURLF), a U.S. operator that lists shares over-the-counter in the U.S., fell 7.2%. Peers Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF), Cresco Labs (CRLBF), and Trulieve Cannabis (TCNNF) were down between 6% and 8%.
Canadian pot stocks, especially, have rallied in recent months on a wave of sentiment-driven gains as investors bet on positive political developments. Meanwhile, U.S. growers, which would benefit from an improved legal landscape, have lagged their competitors that operate in the smaller Canadian market.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic told Barron’s in an email that the recent action in pot stocks involving Reddit traders makes it hard to predict day-to-day moves, especially with the more-liquid Canadian growers.
“A look at the [GameStop] stock chart should be cautionary,” Zuanic added. “That said, we continue to think the top US MSOs are attractively valued taking a long-term view, even though they will get some of the Canadian downdraft.”
Ironically, some observers last month likened the move in GameStop (GME) to Tilray’s brief parabolic jump in 2018. The WallStreetBets forum on Reddit was recently littered with posts about pot stocks. One of the top posts Thursday morning likened the recent action in Canadian pot stocks to a casino.
Zuanic said on Wednesday that the gap in performance between U.S. and Canadian licensed producers, or LPs, could signal interest from the Robinhood crowd. Robinhood users can’t trade over-the-counter stocks on the platform.
“Sure, the news flow backdrop has also helped (the notion the US will open soon and Canadian LPs will benefit; news about exports), but we think this does not explain the big delta in Canada vs. US performance,” he said. “We wonder if the average RH retail investor knows the difference between an MSO and an LP, and the very different fundamentals of both cannabis markets.”
Ihor Dusaniwsky, a managing director at short-selling analytics firm S3 Partners, noted on Wednesday that there’s also a short-selling angle at play. Tilray began the year with short interest at about 48% of shares available for trading, according to S3 Partners. S3 estimates a recent short interest at 23% of shares available for trading, implying a large amount of covering, which helps drive prices up.
Short sellers sell borrowed shares with the hope they can replace the stock by purchasing it at a lower price. Dusaniwsky notes that Tilray and Cronos (CRON) saw the largest yearly decrease in short interest as a percentage of shares available for trading. He added that the top 20 cannabis shorts in the sector were down $4.32 billion in net-of-financing mark-to-market losses in 2021 by Wednesday.
“The yearlong rally has spurred short squeezes in most of the top 20 most shorted stocks in the sector and we should see the squeezes continuing, especially if the potential for nationwide U.S. cannabis legalization continues to increase,” Dusaniwsky added.
As with GameStop, the traditional buy-and-hold investor might want to stay away until things cool down.
Following the devastation of recent flooding, experts are urging government intervention to drive the cessation of building in areas at risk.
New research from Knight Frank’s International Waterfront Index shows waterfront properties are costing more than double their inland counterparts in Sydney while in Melbourne waterside properties attract a 40% premium.
Australia’s coastline attracts some of the highest waterfront premiums in the world with Sydney topping the index — an average premium of 121% — compared to an equivalent home set away from the water.
Auckland ranked second on the list of 17 international locations — a premium of 76%. The list saw Gold Coast (71%), Perth (69%) and the Cap d’Antibes (59%) on the French Riviera round out the top 5.
Australia continued to feature prominently in the research with Brisbane’s waterfront premium coming in at 55%, with Melbourne also in the top 10 at 39%.
According to Knight Frank Australia’s head of residential research, Michelle Ciesielski, there has always been strong appetite for Sydney’s waterfront homes.
Australia’s luxury residential market has advanced, it lacks the depth of prestige markets in more established global cities said Cieselski.
“As a result, our Australian cities can achieve a significantly higher premium on the waterfront compared to a similar property inland without access to, or a view of, water,” she said.
“Also, Australia is known for its balmy outdoor lifestyle, so many buyers in this super-prime space are willing to pay a premium to secure the ideal position along the waterfront.”
The data also suggests that beachfront homes were most desirable, commanding a premium of 63% compared to harbour locations fetching 62% premium and coastal homes with a 40% premium.