Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Marijuana Stock GW Pharmaceuticals Delivers Rapid Growth In Q1

By Todd Campbell - May 11, 2020 at 6:23PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Demand for the marijuana drug developer's treatment for epilepsy caused shares to skyrocket last quarter.

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) unveiled first-quarter financial results after the market closed on Monday, reporting revenue growth of 207% year over year to $120.6 million and a non-GAAP loss of $0.02 per share, which beat analysts expectations by $0.05 per share.

Surging demand for its marijuana treatment for epilepsy

The biotech company's revenue growth was due to surging sales of Epidiolex, a purified formulation of cannabidiol, or CBD, the second most common chemical cannabinoid found in marijuana. Growing use of Epidiolex by patients with the rare epilepsy disorders Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome resulted in net product sales of $116.1 million in the first quarter, including $106.1 million in U.S. revenue. 

CBD oil being added to a prescription bottle with a dropper.


GW Pharmaceuticals remaining revenue came from Sativex, a THC-based drug approved in Europe for use in multiple sclerosis spasticity, or uncontrolled muscle spasms. Phase 3 studies of Sativex that could support a U.S. application for approval are expected to commence later this year.

The company's $8 million net loss in the quarter was a significant improvement from its $50 million loss in the same quarter last year, because operating expenses, including research and development costs, grew much more slowly than revenue. Overall, operating expenses increased 41% year-over-year to $127.8 million. 

Epidiolex revenue could continue increasing this year following successful launches in Germany and the United Kingdom. GW Pharmaceuticals also says it plans to make Epidiolex available in FranceSpain and Italy later this year, too.

Additionally, management expects a Food and Drug Administration decision to approve Epidiolex for use in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) on July 31. Last year, the company reported that Epidiolex's use reduced seizures caused by tumors in TSC patients by 48% in a phase 3 clinical trial. If approved, it could roughly double Epidiolex's addressable patient population. 

Todd Campbell has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may have positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

GW Pharmaceuticals plc Stock Quote
GW Pharmaceuticals plc

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/16/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.