After Hours: Canopy Growth's Q4 2019, Sprouts Farmers Market CEO and CFO Departing

There's buzz tonight about a major marijuana stock, and a pickup in aisle CEO at Sprouts.

Eric Volkman
Eric Volkman
Jun 20, 2019 at 10:06PM
Health Care

After an exhilarating trading day that saw the S&P 500 hit a new record closing high, the mood is a little quieter in the post-market space. 

But as ever, there is the occasional company generating action and excitement in the evening hours. One is top marijuana stock Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), following the release of the company's latest quarterly results. Outside of that, Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) is getting new leadership, while it seems UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) has bought yet another healthcare sector asset.

A marijuana leaf atop a dollar bill.

Image source: Getty Images.

Canopy Growth Q4 results

High-profile and popular marijuana stock Canopy Growth has officially stubbed out its fiscal 2019 with the release of its Q4 and full-year results tonight.

For the quarter, Canopy Growth booked net revenue of 94 million Canadian dollars ($71 million), which was nearly quadruple the Q4 2018 result. Net loss deepened to CA$323 million ($245 million) from the year-ago figure of CA$54 million ($41 million).

On a per-share basis, Canopy Growth's shortfall for the quarter was CA$0.98 ($0.74). On average, analysts had been forecasting a deficit of only CA$0.22 ($0.17). The company's net revenue figure, on the other hand, broadly met expectations.

For the entirety of fiscal 2019, the company's net revenue came in at CA$226 million ($171 million), almost triple 2018's tally. Net loss was CA$670 million ($507 million), far deeper than the CA$54 million ($41 million) the company lost the previous year (similar to the Q4 2018 result).

In the earnings release, Canopy Growth described its fiscal 2019 as "historic."

The company elaborated by writing of its "major steps taken in Canada to build-out our national platform while scaling all of our processes to bring cannabis to market.

"The third quarter of the year benefited from months of advanced production while the fourth quarter relied more on efficient throughput and a more automated platform," it added.

After-market investors seem to be on the fence about Canopy Growth's latest numbers. The stock is up less than 1% at the moment.

Sprouts gets a new CEO; CFO departs

Sprouts Farmers Market is sprouting new leadership. The grocery chain announced after market close that it has named a new CEO: Jack Sinclair, a grocery and retail industry veteran and longtime executive.

Sinclair replaces Jim Nielsen and Brad Lukow, the two men who had served as interim co-CEOs since the sudden resignation last November of Amin Maredia. Following Sinclair's appointment, Sprouts also announced that Lukow -- who was also CFO -- had resigned from the company. He is to be replaced as CFO on an interim basis by board member Lawrence Molloy.

New CEO Sinclair has held numerous leadership posts prior to his appointment by Sprouts. He was previously CEO of privately held discounter 99 Cents Only Stores, and executive vice president of Walmart's U.S. grocery division. He also served on the board of Hain Celestial Group.

Although Sprouts has had success expanding its retail footprint, its profitability has been thin, even for the famously low-margin grocery segment. Shareholders will certainly hope Sinclair can bolster Sprouts' bottom-line numbers.

Going by the stock's after-market price, the jury is still out on that one. Sprouts is up marginally in tonight's trading.

UnitedHealth opens its wallet again

Health insurance giant UnitedHealth is apparently adding yet another company to its portfolio. In an article published tonight by The Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter," the company has acquired privately held Equian. UnitedHealth will pay roughly $3.2 billion for its new asset, a healthcare industry payments specialist.

Equian will likely be folded into UnitedHealth's Optum unit, a big healthcare services provider.

This follows yesterday's news regarding the close of Optum's long-gestating acquisition of DaVita Medical Group, itself a subsidiary of top dialysis services provider DaVita (NYSE:DVA). In what's effectively a final step, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the deal conditionally, mandating that UnitedHealth divest the DaVita Medical Group's HealthCare Partners of Nevada subsidiary within 40 days.

As of this writing, UnitedHealth has not confirmed or denied that it purchased Equian.

If accurate, UnitedHealth bought Equian from its owner, private equity company New Mountain Capital. Since UnitedHealth is a frequent acquirer of healthcare sector assets, this particular deal doesn't seem to be fazing investors much. The company's stock is down, but only slightly, in the post-market hours.