Canadian pot producer Aurora Cannabis posts surprise profit ahead of US listing
Aurora Cannabis, the second-largest Canadian marijuana producer by market cap, reported a surprise profit overnight.
Aurora owns 22.9 per cent of Australia’s biggest cannabis stock Cann Group (ASX:CAN) and it’s been speculated the Canadian has considered buying the Aussie out.
For its fourth quarter, Aurora earned 40c, easily beating the 3c loss that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting. Revenue more than doubled from the same quarter last year, coming in at $C19.1 million, missing the $C23 million that was expected.
Aurora shares (which trade in Toronto and via an over-the-counter ticker in the US), rose about 3.6 per cent following the release.
“Aurora made substantial progress toward our strategic goal of becoming the global scale and margin leader in the cannabis industry, establishing a vertically integrated company with a broadly diversified product offering with a large global footprint,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth said in a press release.
“Our high-pace, consistent execution has enabled us to complete a number of transformative acquisitions, bringing together industry-leading companies in terms of scale, quality, efficiencies, plant and medical science, product development and innovation, brands, and international distribution.”
The company’s average selling price for dried cannabis increased to $C8.02 per gram from $C7.30 per gram last quarter, while its production costs rose to $C1.70 from $C1.52. This increase helped the company’s full-year margins grow to 65% from 56% last year.
In total, Aurora said it produced 2.2 million kilograms of cannabis and sold 1.6 million this year.
Shares of Aurora are up 130 per cent since its mid-August low of $4.10.
The subsequent rally was fuelled in part by reported talks with Coca-Cola to produce a CBD-infused beverage. The company has said it does not comment on exploratory discussions. Wall Street analysts have an average price target of $US11 a share, a 10% premium to Monday’s closing price.
The cannabis producer plans to file a a Form 40-F with US regulators soon, a regulatory form that Canadian company’s must file to register on an American exchange, a move that will allow it to access more capital on the world’s largest exchanges.
“Listing our shares on a senior U.S. exchange reflects the level of corporate and business maturity and our high-paced execution,” Booth said.
“This listing provides access to a broader investor audience who gain the opportunity to participate in our continued success.”