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What Do Aphria's Mixed Earnings Results Mean for Investors?

By Zhiyuan Sun - Aug 1, 2020 at 8:27AM

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After Aphria released earnings revealing some challenging headwinds for its business, should investors buy the dip or sell the stock?

After small-cap marijuana producer Aphria (APHA) reported fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2020 results on Wednesday, shares fell by as much as 16% during the trading day. That said, a day is just a day --  Aphria has still managed to return 34% to investors in the past three months, as of market close on Thursday.

While the company's revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) appear solid, its growth momentum took a big hit from the coronavirus pandemic. Today, let's take a look at whether investors should be concerned about these results.

Scientist stands in medical cannabis field.

Image source: Getty Images.

Impressive growth

In the final quarter of Aphria's 2020 fiscal year, the company expanded its revenue by 18% from the prior year to $152.2 million Canadian dollars, and its adjusted EBITDA by 55% year over year to CA$9.3 million. For the entirety of fiscal 2020, Aphria's net sales increased by a staggering 129% compared with 2019, to CA$543.3 million. At the same time, the company's adjusted EBITDA launched into the profitability territory, amounting to CA$20.1 million compared with a loss of CA$17.5 million last year. Additionally, the company was able to keep its gross margin steady at 50%.

So why is the stock down?

Because of to disruptions caused by COVID-19, the company's results did not meet its expectations. Before the company withdrew its guidance, Aphria estimated it would generate CA$575 million to CA$625 million worth of revenue, and adjusted EBITDA of CA$35 million to CA$42 million, for fiscal 2020. Revenue numbers came in slightly below that, but COVID-19 slashed nearly 50% off its adjusted EBITDA.

The company did not do that well regarding the amount of cannabis sold, either. In Q4 2020, Aphria sold 12,557 kilograms of cannabis, a 125% increase over the 5,574 kg it sold in Q4 2019. However, the volume of cannabis sold was down sequentially from 14,014 kg in the third quarter of 2020.

So what's the verdict?

With its business slowing down somewhat, investors may think Aphria's stock is no longer worth what they paid for it. On the contrary, the company's market cap stands at just US$1.61 billion (CA$2.15 billion). If we were to compare it to the company's CA$535 million in revenue and CA$1.8 billion in book value, then Aphria is trading for a little over 4 times price-to-sales, with a price-to-book ratio of 1. That's very inexpensive, especially considering Aphria is one of the few profitable cannabis companies in the sector.

Moreover, its recent financial results indicate sound management. Currently, Aphria has more than CA$497 million in cash to offset CA$129.6 million in debt and CA$279.78 million in convertible notes. Considering the company has a positive adjusted EBITDA, I do not expect Aphria will need to tap into the capital markets to fund its operations -- which is, again, unlike the majority of marijuana companies out there. Hence, I would argue that today's stock price represents a solid business on sale, and investors would be well rewarded for buying the dip.

Zhiyuan Sun owns shares of Aphria Inc. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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