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Aphria, Khiron receive bullish notes from analysts as Bay Street and Wall Street go all in on marijuana stocks

Cormark went all in on Aphria Inc. (NYSE:APHA) this past Saturday, placing a $15.00 target price and a buy rating on the company stock. It’s a positive sign from the Canadian brokerage firm as the beleaguered Licensed Producer continues to climb its way back from the hole dug late last year by Hindenburg Research and their brutal short-seller attack.

Othe research firms have been less forgiving to the company, though those reports have been less recent. In mid-December, Eight Capital gave Aphria a hold rating with a $7.00 price target, while Canaccord Genuity held firm on a buy rating earlier in the same month. CIBC offered a neutral rating in late January hen beginning coverage on the company.

Aphria recently put the ghost of Gabriel Grego behind them, climbing back to even in terms of stock price to where they were before the short-seller attack. The company has a 52-week low of $3.75 and a 52-week high of $16.86.

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In the intervening weeks, Aphria has had a rough road, having dismissed CEO Vic Neufeld while simultaneously battling a hostile takeover from the little-known Green Growth Brands (OTCMKTS:GGBXF).

Meanwhile, the company posted quarterly earnings in early January with middling results. The revenue following the opening of Canada’s legal cannabis market was less than expected for the number three company in the country.

Canaccord Genuity raises target on Khiron

Below the U.S. border, Canaccord Genuity raised their target price on Colombian cannabis giant Khiron Life Sciences (TSX-V:KHRN) (OTCMKTS:KHRNF), with analyst Kimberly Hedlin pushing the company up to CA$5.00 ($3.80) from CA$3.40 ($2.59).

According to Hedlin, the price raise comes following a site tour in which the analyst now has greater confidence in Khiron’s ability to grow and convert patients. Patient growth at Khiron’s ILANS clinic was 19 percent in 2018, far outpacing the 5 percent predicted by Hedlin.

Moreover, Hedlin praised the recently announced joint venture between Khiron and Dixie Brands, a cannabis consumer packaged goods company. According to a statement released last week, the 50/50 joint venture will see the two companies release cannabis-infused products in Latin America, along with the expansion of Khiron’s Kuida branded CBD in the U.S.

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"This joint venture is a combination of two companies coming together to bring great brands with highly complementary products, distribution capabilities and expertise,” said Khiron CEO Alvaro Torres. “The joint venture gives us important access to expand the reach of our Kuida cosmeceutical brand into the U.S. market, and by introducing a proven set of product formulations, we can more effectively leverage the infrastructure and relationships we are putting in place across Latin America."

Hedlin continues to see a significant upside to Khiron, as per the investor note. In midday trading on Monday, Khiron was up almost 15 percent on the OTC markets, trading at $2.20 per share.

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