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Why GW Pharmaceuticals Crashed 17% on Friday

By Eric Volkman – Aug 7, 2020 at 7:34PM

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The company's latest set of quarterly figures was a buzzkill for investors.

What happened

Investors were not happy with the Q2 fiscal 2020 results published by GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH), a company that develops and markets cannabidiol (CBD)-based drugs and is therefore considered a marijuana stock. Those results, published after market close on Thursday, brought up several concerns about the company's operations, and helped drive the stock down by over 17% the following day.

So what

For the quarter, GW Pharmaceuticals booked total revenue of $121.3 million, nearly all of it derived from sales of Epidiolex, a treatment for seizures in patients suffering from three relatively rare disorders. That top-line figure was 68% higher on a year-over-year basis.

Cannabis extract in a vial.

Image source: Getty Images.

Digging deeper into the numbers, however, shows that Epidiolex sales of $117.7 million were only marginally higher than the Q1 result of $116.1 million.

Another negative for GW Pharmaceuticals' Q2 is that it flipped to a loss on the bottom line. This was $8.8 million, compared to the profit of $79.7 million in the year-ago quarter (although the latter was due to the company accounting for over $104 million in proceeds from the sale of a Rare Pediatric Priority Review Voucher).

Now what

GW Pharmaceuticals had been a relatively well-liked marijuana stock because of the potential of Epidiolex, so the sluggish quarter-over-quarter growth in its sales is worrying. And although the Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex for a new indication earlier this week, investors might be concerned that this won't move the needle much on those sales.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

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GW Pharmaceuticals
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