If you've been keeping score, three of the top four biggest Canadian marijuana producers by market cap have reported their latest earnings results. Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) kicked things off on May 9, with Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) following with their quarterly updates last week.
But the biggest Canadian marijuana producer of them all has yet to announce its earnings results from the first quarter of calendar year 2019. Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) hasn't revealed when its next quarterly update will be held, but it's not very far in the future. While investors wait for the big company to report its results, there are a few things from the updates provided by Aurora, Cronos, and Tilray that could give us clues about how Canopy might perform.
Less teething pains than anticipated in Canada
In April, Scotiabank analysts Oliver Rowe and Ben Isaacson slashed their revenue estimate for Canopy Growth's fiscal Q4. Scotiabank expects the company to generate quarter-over-quarter revenue growth of only 5%. Why? Because Rowe and Isaacson think that the Canadian cannabis industry is experiencing "teething pains."
However, it's fair to say that Aurora, Cronos, and Tilray all showed more teeth than teething pains in their latest quarterly updates. Aurora posted quarter-over-quarter sales growth of 21% in its recent quarter. Cronos announced revenue that was up 15% over the previous quarter. Tilray's total revenue soared 48% sequentially.
Tilray was an outlier in this group since its acquisition of Manitoba Harvest in February provided a big boost to its top line. But the reality is that based on earnings results from the biggest players in the industry so far problems in the Canadian adult-use recreational market weren't nearly as bad as Scotiabank's outlook indicated.
Aurora's results perhaps provide the best gauge for how Canopy Growth might fare when it announces its fiscal Q4 update. Canopy ranked No. 1 in market share in the Canadian recreational market in the previous quarter, with Aurora coming in second place. It seems likely that Canopy's quarter-over-quarter revenue growth will be closer to Aurora's 21% than the 5% predicted by Scotiabank.
All four of the biggest Canadian marijuana producers by market cap have international operations. And of the three that have already announced their latest quarterly results, at least two of them appear to be enjoying solid momentum in international markets.
Aurora's international sales soared 38% quarter over quarter. The company achieved this strong growth even though supply constraints limited how much it could export.
Tilray's international sales skyrocketed 321% higher year over year. The company didn't report details on its international performance in the previous quarter. Cronos, however, reported only minimal international sales in the latest quarter.
Again, Aurora is the best company to look at to get a feel for how Canopy Growth's international results could come in when it announces its Q4 update. Three months ago, Canopy was a close second place in international sales behind Aurora. With Germany's medical cannabis market continuing to expand, it's probably a pretty good bet that Canopy's international sales growth will be solid.
Some reason for optimism about the bottom line
Of the three top companies that have already reported quarterly results, Cronos Group was the only one to post a profit. However, that profit stemmed from a huge gain on revaluation of derivative liabilities. Basically, the Cronos warrants that tobacco giant Altria owns decreased in value because Cronos stock fell during the quarter. Without this revaluation, Cronos would have had a net loss like the others did.
Tilray met analysts' estimates with its net loss. Aurora's net loss was wider than analysts expected. The good news, though, was that the company's production costs are falling. Aurora thinks that it will generate positive EBITDA in its next quarterly update.
Canopy reported a profit last quarter. Don't expect a repeat performance. The company's fiscal Q3 profit was due to a big decline in the fair value of its senior convertible notes. And that decline stemmed from Canopy Growth stock dropping in its fiscal third quarter. Canopy's shares jumped in the last quarter so the impact from a change in fair value of its senior convertible notes will be negative this time around.
But there are some reasons to be optimistic about Canopy Growth's bottom-line performance. Of course, if Canopy reports revenue that's better than expected, that will go a long way toward beating earnings expectations as well. Also, like Aurora, Canopy should experience higher margins as its production facilities reach full utilization.
Comparisons only go so far
Based on the results from its peers that have already been announced, Canopy Growth should soon provide a solid Q4 update. But comparisons can only go so far. Canopy Growth isn't Aurora Cannabis, Cronos Group, or Tilray. The company will have unique positives and negatives of its own.
Still, the overall industry trends appear to look pretty good for Canopy Growth. And with international markets expanding and the cannabis edibles and other derivatives market in Canada set to open later this year, Canopy's future continues to look bright.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Cronos Group had not reported international sales results for its quarter ending March 31, 2019. The Fool regrets the error.