Aphria stock and other marijuana stocks jumped on Thursday, after the Canadian cannabis producer reported fiscal second-quarter revenue that beat expectations.
The pot grower reported the results after it agreed to merge with rival Tilray (TLRY) — potentially creating a global weed-industry giant — and as more focus shifts to the U.S. and its legalization prospects. But at least one analyst expressed concern about a deceleration in Aphria's cannabis sales.
Aphria (APHA) reported net sales of 160.5 million Canadian dollars, or around $126.57 million. That's up 10% from the prior quarter, and above Zacks forecasts for $119.39 million.
Most of that revenue — 91.74 million Canadian dollars — came from CC Pharma, a German pharmaceutical and medical pot distributor Aphria bought in 2019. Around 67.9 million came from cannabis, up 7%. However, that's slower than the 18% gain put up in the prior quarter.
Five days' worth of alcohol sales from U.S. craft brewer SweetWater, which Aphria agreed to buy in November, also added 881,000 Canadian dollars in net sales.
On an adjusted basis, Aphria earned 1 Canadian cent per share, or a little less than 1 cent in the U.S. Factoring out those adjustments, it lost 42 Canadian cents per share. Zacks expected a per-share loss of 2 cents in U.S. currency.
"While the headlines are positive, we believe the slowing growth from the Canadian adult use business is a concern with the outsize contribution from global medical sales (C$5.3 million) likely aiding profitability," Stifel analyst Andrew Carter said in a research note.
Aphria Stock, Marijuana Stocks
Nonetheless, Aphria stock jumped 21% to close at 12.11 on the stock market today, hitting the highest level since November 2018. The stock has an 81 Composite Rating. But its EPS Rating is a weak 6. Tilray stock surged 23.6%. That stock's Composite and EPS ratings are 67 and 23.
Among other marijuana stocks, Canopy Growth (CGC) rose 7.6%. Cronos Group (CRON) added 5.2%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB) gained 9.6%.
When Aphria and Tilray agreed to merge last month, the companies said the deal would create a large, international company with $685 million in annual revenue and offices in the U.S., Canada, Portugal and Germany.
But Aphria would be taking on a company that's still trying to work off debt. Analysts have questioned whether Aphria's U.S. business, SweetWater, and Tilray's U.S. CBD operations — Manitoba Harvest, which makes hemp foods like granola and some CBD products — are best positioned for broader U.S. legalization.
Marijuana stocks have rallied since the U.S. election in November, on greater expectations that a Democratic president and Senate would more quickly pass laws to make it easier for cannabis companies to operate.
But any Canadian company trying to operate in the U.S. would need to build out infrastructure and obtain licenses. And they would be competing with large cannabis companies operating in multiple U.S. states.