Earnings highlights: Hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman bets on cannabis; two firms deliver solid Q2 results

Share prices at cannabis firms Green Thumb Industries and Tilray are on the rise after solid second-quarter performances – and mainstream investors are taking note, with at least one hedge fund billionaire throwing his support behind the industry.

The two businesses reported their first earnings as newly public companies after the markets closed Tuesday.

Here’s a breakdown of the news and financial highlights for each:

Green Thumb Industries

Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries’ (CNSX: GTII) first analyst earnings call revealed more than its quarterly sales and earnings.

The rapidly growing company also confirmed that hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman, founder of Omega Advisors and former partner at Goldman Sachs, is a backer of the company – another signal that mainstream investors are playing bigger roles in the once-taboo marijuana industry.

“I’ve known Ben Kovler (GTI’s founder and chair) since birth – he’s an impressive young man,” Cooperman told Marijuana Business Daily. “I think he has great vision for this industry.”

Cooperman confirmed to MJBizDaily that his investment is not part of the nearly $4 billion managed by his Omega fund.

Green Thumb reported revenue of $13.6 million in the second quarter, a nearly 300% increase year-over-year.

Quarter-over-quarter revenue was up 25% compared with the first quarter’s $10.9 million.

Net income for the quarter was roughly $400,000, up significantly from a first-quarter loss of $1.6 million.

The multistate cannabis firm operates eight manufacturing facilities and has licenses for 59 retail locations in eight states. It also owns the retail cannabis dispensary brand RISE.

The company went public in Canada in June via a reverse takeover. Shares in the firm were up nearly 15% early Wednesday – trading at 14.91 Canadian dollars ($11.55).

Tilray 

Tilray (Nasdaq: TLRYreported a 95% spike in second-quarter sales, fueled by international growth and increased patient demand.

A licensed cannabis producer in Canada, Tilray is the second-largest publicly traded MJ company and is controlled by Seattle-based Privateer Holdings.

The company’s trading debut in July marked the first time a plant-touching business has gone public on a major U.S. exchange via an initial public offering (IPO).

Tilray posted $9.7 million in revenue during the second quarter, on a loss of 17 cents per share – compared with a year-ago loss of 1 cent per share.

Losses in the quarter climbed to $12.8 million, compared with a $2.4 million loss during the same period last year, largely a result of higher operating expenses tied to Tilray’s international expansion and costs connected to the firm’s IPO, the company said.

During the quarter, the firm exported products to Argentina, South Africa and the United Kingdom – growing Tilray’s reach to 11 countries.

Shares in Tilray were up more than 18% in morning trading Wednesday at $61.20. The share price has spiked more than 160% since the company’s IPO in July.

Lisa Bernard-Kuhn can be reached at [email protected]

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