Viridian Capital on Tuesday initiated coverage of Ascend Wellness with a buy rating and a $5.15 price target as a beneficiary of adult cannabis sales in New Jersey starting on Thursday. Analyst Jonathan DeCourcey said Ascend Wellness trades at a discount to other cannabis multi-state operators (MSOs) partly because its stock debut in May, 2021 came after the market peak for cannabis stocks; also because of its legal dispute over its acquisition of MedMen’s business in New York State. “Ascend is a leading mid-sized MSO with a position in several key markets that should be the envy of most in the industry through its vertically integrated flagship dispensary model,” DeCourcey said. “We are confident that execution over the next years will translate to meaningful share gains and outperforming profitability longer term.” Shares of Ascend Wellness rose 0.9% on Tuesday. The stock is down 48.5% so far in 2022, compared to a 30% drop by the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF .
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