Weed Stock Downgraded on Valuation Concerns

NBEV, meanwhile, is soaring on news the company is testing cannabis-infused drinks

Sep 6, 2018 at 10:36 AM
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Shares of New Age Beverages Corp (NASDAQ:NBEV) are up 11% to trade at $2.17, after the drinkmaker said it's testing cannabis-based drinks in Colorado. The company is also attempting to delay its annual shareholder meeting from mid-September to late October in order for stakeholders to consider a proposal to increase authorized common stock to 100 million shares.

Since hitting a two-year low of $1.30 two weeks ago on Aug. 23, NBEV stock has surged nearly 66%, and is currently pacing for its best week since November 2016. However, the security is running out of steam near its 200-day moving average, which also contained breakout attempts in June and July.

In other marijuana news, Northland Capital cut its rating on Canada-based cannabis name Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) to "market perform" from "outperform." While the analyst in coverage waxed optimistic on the company's new partnerships, it said TLRY stock's recent surge up the charts has created a more balanced risk/reward profile.

From its July 19 open at $23.05 -- its first day trading on the Nasdaq -- to yesterday's all-time peak of $97.36, Tilray stock more than quadrupled in value, thanks in part to a blowout earnings report. Today, though, the shares are trading down 10.4% at $80.52.

Options traders have been blasting the weed stock during this volatile price action, too. While put and call open interest are at record levels of 68,835 contracts and 52,453 contracts, respectively, options volume is running at six times the average intraday pace today -- with nearly 23,000 contracts on the tape already.

This morning, traders are initiating new positions at the weekly 9/14 44-strike put, though the wide bid-ask skew makes it hard to tell if the options are being bought or sold. More broadly, the September 50 put is home to peak open interest, and data from the major options exchanges confirms buy-to-open activity here.

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