There weren't any real surprises when Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) announced its fiscal 2019 second-quarter earnings results in February. That's mainly because the Canadian marijuana producer provided a sneak peek of what its Q2 results would look like a month earlier.
Aurora is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings after the market closes on Tuesday. This time around, the company didn't give an early look at what might be in its numbers. But here are three things that you can expect with its Q3 results.
1. Strong revenue growth
Scotiabank analysts Oliver Rowe and Ben Isaacson say that the Canadian cannabis industry is experiencing "teething pains" that could weigh on the sales of major producers early in 2019. But you can expect Aurora to report strong revenue growth in Q3, probably in the ballpark of $68 million Canadian ($50.7 million).
Chief corporate officer Cam Battley said in the company's Q2 conference call that "we expect to see a further increase in product available for sale for fiscal Q3." He also mentioned that the percentage of revenue from extracted products -- which command higher prices -- should increase.
Perhaps more importantly, CFO Glen Ibbott was asked in the last quarterly conference call how things were looking for Aurora in January and February. He didn't provide any details but did state that "we certainly haven't slowed down at all in terms of our production and shipments."
It's possible that Aurora won't meet analysts' expectations. But all the signs point to another strong quarter for the company's top line.
2. An improving bottom line
Aurora posted an ugly net loss of CA$237.8 million in the second quarter. However, around CA$190 million stemmed from adjustments on the company's derivative investments. That still left Aurora with a significant net loss. You can expect considerable improvement on Aurora's bottom line in the third quarter, though.
The continued growth in revenue will certainly help. Aurora should also be on track to lower its operating costs, especially with its Aurora Sky facility fully operational. However, the company's sales and marketing expenses are still likely to rise as it expands its presence in international medical cannabis markets and continues to support its rollout in the Canadian adult-use recreational market.
It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Aurora will post yet another loss. Analysts expect a net loss of around CA$0.04 per share. But the company's bottom line should trend in the right direction. Aurora could even generate positive EBITDA beginning in the fourth quarter, which runs from April to June 2019.
3. A lot more cash
The easiest prediction to make for Aurora's Q3 is that the company will have a lot more cash on hand. Aurora reported CA$46.8 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2018. Even with the company continuing to burn through cash to fund operations, the total will definitely be higher in Aurora's Q3 results thanks to a convertible senior note offering in January.
Aurora raised gross proceeds of US$345 million from this convertible senior note offering. The company stated at the time that it planned to use the money to support its expansion efforts (including future acquisitions) and for "general corporate purposes."
The good news about this transaction is that it puts Aurora in a solid financial position for the near term. The bad news is that, because of the ability of noteholders to convert the notes to shares down the road, it means that even more share dilution is on the way.
What not to expect
It's probably too soon for investors to expect many details on how Aurora's efforts to secure partners outside the cannabis industry are going. The company brought a billionaire investor on board as a strategic adviser earlier this year to help facilitate discussions with potential partners. However, it's likely that Aurora will want to keep any information about these discussions private until they're farther along.
Aurora might share more details about its plans for expansion into the U.S., particularly in the U.S. hemp industry. But don't be surprised if management remains quiet on that front also. In Aurora's last quarterly conference call, CEO Terry Booth seemed reluctant to discuss the company's strategy. It's possible -- and perhaps even probable -- that Aurora's U.S. plans dovetail with its partnering strategy.
Finally, you shouldn't expect huge international sales for Aurora, either. But international medical cannabis markets will be a big part of the company's future. Management will likely talk quite a bit about how the company plans to capitalize on its significant international prospects, especially in Europe and Latin America.