It Took a 58% Slide for This Pot Stock to Lure Value Investors

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(Bloomberg) -- Once high-flying pot stocks are so beaten down that they’re attracting interest from value investors.

That’s according to Hadley Ford, a former investment banker for Goldman Sachs who is now chief executive officer at New York-based cannabis firm iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc.

“Now I get value investors calling me,” Ford said in a phone interview Tuesday following the company’s second-quarter earnings release. “I’m like, ‘Should I be pitching myself to Sanford Bernstein and declaring a dividend?”’

It Took a 58% Slide for This Pot Stock to Lure Value Investors

iAnthus shares have fallen by half over the past 12 months and have lost two-thirds of their value since their high point of C$9.49 last September.

The whole sector is currently in a bear market, with the regulatory issues at CannTrust Holdings Inc., the firing of Canopy Growth Corp. Co-CEO Bruce Linton and antitrust reviews of several U.S. acquisitions all weighing on stocks, Ford said.

“If we were in a bull market you’d put a positive spin on all these things but unfortunately we’re in a bear market so everyone gets painted with the same brush,” he said.

Ford likened the current environment for pot stocks to quantum physics, where “a particle may be in two places at once.”

“The business of cannabis is doing fine, the stocks not at all; it’s two separate realities existing at the same time,” he said on the company’s earnings call. “Like quantum physics, I can read the words, I can see the facts, but I just don’t understand it.”

iAnthus reported second-quarter revenue of $25 million, up 35% sequentially from the prior quarter, and a net loss of $9.3 million.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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