Analyst: Buy Tilray Stock Ahead of Canada Pot Legalization

Call buying has been popular on TLRY stock recently

Oct 16, 2018 at 10:51 AM
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With recreational marijuana slated to become legal in Canada starting tomorrow, Oct. 17, Benchmark initiated coverage on British Columbia-based Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) with a "buy" rating and $200 price target -- a nearly 21% premium to last night's close. The analyst in coverage waxed optimistic on the company's early emergence in the medical cannabis market, as well as the growth potential of Tilray's new partnership with Novartis (NVS).

After initial jumping almost 8% out of the gate, TLRY stock was last seen down 1.6% to trade at $162.49, extending its volatile run since its first day of trading on the Nasdaq Composite back in late July. Specifically, Tilray stock is up more than 600% from its July 19 open at $23.05, and is trading almost 10 times above its July 18 initial public offering (IPO) price of $17 per share.

While there are plenty of bears targeting the weed stock, optimism is starting to grow. Since the start of the month, TLRY's 10-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) has jumped to 1.11 from 0.74.

Calls are popular today, too. Already, roughly 17,000 calls and 9,200 puts have changed hands -- though the stock's average daily options volume is around 51,000 calls and 44,000 puts. This morning, it's the October 190 call that's one of the more active, and it looks like new positions are being purchased for a volume-weighted average price of $4.77. If this is the case, breakeven for the call buyer at this Friday's close -- when front-month options expire -- is $194.77 (strike plus premium paid).

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