Consumer Products

How Aurora Cannabis Q3 Earnings Surprised Investors

Paul Ausick

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) reported third-quarter fiscal 2020 results after markets closed Thursday. The marijuana grower and distributor reported a net loss per share of C$1.37 on revenues of C$76.4 million. In the same period a year ago, the company posted a loss per share of C$1.89 on revenue of C$66.6 million. Analysts had forecast a net loss per share of C$0.04 and revenues of C$46.9 million. At today’s conversion rate, one Canadian dollar is equal to about $0.71 American.

The company’s net loss totaled C$137.4 million and adjusted EBITDA came in at a loss of C$50.9 million. Adjustments included a charge of C$10.9 million for share-based compensation and a gain of C$15.4 million in the fair value of inventory. Prior to a reverse stock split earlier this month, Aurora had 1.3 billion shares outstanding, yielding a per-share adjusted loss of about C$0.04.

Michael Singer, executive chair and interim CEO of Aurora commented:

I am incredibly proud of the Aurora team for working through these challenging times in order to maintain uninterrupted operations at all of our production facilities and ensure we continue to meet the needs of our patients and consumers. I am also pleased that our third quarter 2020 financial results were in-line with our expectations, and that we remain firmly on track with the cost-savings and capex goals we detailed during our business transformation plan in February 2020.

The plan Singer referred to had two main points: strengthen the balance sheet and reduce costs. Not the most original idea, but very popular given the devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on the global economy.

The company’s adjusted gross margin on cannabis was 54% in the quarter, and the company is targeting an annual margin greater than 50%. Selling, general and administrative expenses dropped by about 25% to $C75.1 million, and the company said it is on track to meet a target of C$40 million to C$45 million by the end of the fourth fiscal quarter.

The consensus analyst estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter calls for a loss per share of C$0.04 on revenues of C$76.2 million. For the full 2020 fiscal year, analysts expect a loss per share of C$1.25 and sales of C$278.5 million.

Aurora also noted that it has decided to focus on gaining market share rather than boosting revenues as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The company said it has developed a “leading” share in key Canadian consumer categories, leads the Canadian medical market in revenue, and has a “significant” market share in Germany. Aurora’s goal is “to gain market share where it can and remain well positioned to capture more share of the revenue growth of the various cannabis markets over time.”

Ironically, perhaps, it was the unexpected jump in revenues that drove the stock to a sharp gain in Friday’s premarket session.

Aurora’s shares traded up more than 30% at $8.66 after closing at $6.64 on Thursday. The stock’s 52-week range is $5.30 to $108.60 (adjusted for the 12-for-1 reverse split). Prior to the split, shares last traded at $0.67. The post-split starting price was $8.06 per share.