Roughly speaking, we're about halfway through what we can call Cannabis Earnings Season. This past week featured digits from prominent marijuana stocks including Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) and GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH). And as we move through August, several more "green" equities will be reporting.
As usual with cannabis companies in this quickly developing sector, however, there was more going on than earnings updates. Here are some of the top happenings from a busy week.
Quarterly results: Cronos, CV Sciences, and GW Pharmaceuticals
Three noted marijuana stocks unveiled their latest quarterly figures last week -- Cronos Group, hemp cannabidiol (CBD) products specialist CV Sciences (OTC:CVSI) and maker of cannabis-based medicine GW Pharmaceuticals.
Of the three, GW Pharmaceuticals had the best quarter by a wide margin. Thanks to the rapid uptake of its star drug, Epidiolex, its Q2 revenue ballooned more than twentyfold. Analysts were expecting some degree of year-over-year improvement, but not that much improvement.
The company was also, unusually for the publicly traded weed segment, profitable. The result, $80 million, also exceeded analyst expectations. Investors were happy about this, even it was due mainly to the sale of a Rare Pediatric Priority Review voucher. Profit is profit.
Cronos also posted some big leaps in key fundamentals in its Q2. There was more than a threefold increase in both revenue and kilos of product sold, plus a much higher leap in net profit. Yet as with GW Pharmaceuticals, that leap was due mainly to a one-off, specifically a revaluing of derivative liabilities. More discouragingly, the company is lagging behind other industry peers in terms of production.
As for CV Sciences, its Q2 also featured notable growth of 36% on the back of sharply increased distribution, yet the nearly $17 million the company took in didn't meet analyst expectations. On the other hand, its net profit was a bit higher. The market likes profit, and it particularly likes it in the still frequently loss-making environment that is early stage corporate marijuana.
Honorable mention goes to Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB), which posted preliminary revenue and production numbers for its Q4 of fiscal 2019. These indicate that the company earned net revenue between CA$100 million and CA$107 million for the period, on production available for sale close to or at the 30,000 kilo mark. That top-line figure is well above the slightly over CA$19 million Aurora earned Q4 2018.
No estimate was given for profitability. A complete set of results is to be released before Sept. 15, Aurora said.
Although not every headline result from the mentioned companies exceeded analyst estimates, and there were several areas of concern in some of the results, for the most part the companies performed well. Those high growth rates -- fueled by the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, plus certain acquisitions -- are making investors happy.
Canopy Growth buys out research JV
Speaking of acquisitions, Canopy Growth signed off on its latest one last week. This is for the part of Beckley Canopy Therapeutics it doesn't own. That entity is a joint venture, in combination with UK-based think tank Beckley Research & Innovations, aimed at CBD research.
One asset inside Beckley Canopy Therapeutics is Spectrum Biomedical UK, a company that distributes Canopy Growth's medicinal cannabis offerings.
With the purchase, Canopy Growth continues to grow out both its derivatives business and its international presence. The company didn't provide the price it's paying in the deal, so it's hard to evaluate whether it's a good bargain. What we can say with some certainty is that it's a sensible move that fits in well with the general corporate strategy.
Canopy Growth said it expects the deal to close within 60 days.
New marijuana stock on the way
A marijuana stock that currently trades on the over-the-counter (OTC) market, the memorably named The Green Organic Dutchman, said it filed an application to list its shares on the Nasdaq.
Despite the name, the company is headquartered in Canada and is a significant grower in that country. Its planned production capacity is 219,000 kilos.
The Green Organic Dutchman already trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where it has been listed under the ticker symbol TGOD since mid-2018. It will also trade under that symbol on the Nasdaq if the exchange accepts its application.
If that happens, The Green Organic Dutchman is sure to be a popular issue among marijuana investors. It'll also get a boost from uplisting, as presence on one of the top exchanges tends to confer legitimacy and trust on a stock.