June 5, 2019 / 11:50 AM / 5 months ago

BUZZ-Cronos higher as BAML says U.S. expansion a near-term catalyst, double upgrades

** U.S.-listed shares of Canadian cannabis producer rise 6.4% to $15.34 premarket

** Bank of America Merrill Lynch double upgrades the Canadian-listed stock to “buy” from “underperform” and raises price objective to $27 from $17

** BAML has improved confidence in CRON, nearing its U.S. launch, which improves near-term visibility in the largest market for cannabis-derived compounds in the world

** CRON beginning to flex its near group-leading balance sheet (C$2.4 bln cash) and partnerships with Altria Group Inc to begin a transformation that will create a vastly different co in the years ahead - BAML

** BAML does not see Cronos entering the United States by acquiring a cannabis retailer, but leveraging MO’s distribution, e.g. presence in 230k stores, to launch its products

** BAML sees the CBD market at $2 bln now and will grow to $11.5 bln in 2032

** As of Tuesday’s close, CRON’s U.S.-listed shares had risen nearly 39% this year (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru)

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