One of the reasons investors are cautious about buying pot stocks is that many cannabis companies aren't profitable. Indeed, there's a danger that some will go out of business. And so when Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) released its latest results earlier this month featuring a significant increase in its net loss, investors rushed to sell the stock, sending its shares down 13% the following day.
Let's take a closer look at the company's recent results to see whether investors should be worried about Tilray being in trouble or whether this could instead be an attractive buying opportunity. Here are some of the more alarming items from Tilray's most recent quarterly report that may have investors on edge:
Tilray's net loss more than doubled from a year ago
On Aug. 10, Tilray released its second-quarter results for the period ending June 30, showing yet another big loss -- this time, $81.7 million. That's up 125% from the $36.3 million loss reported in the prior-year period. The deeper loss is because the British Columbia-based pot producer incurred inventory adjustments of $18.6 million (just $201,000 a year ago) and asset impairment charges of $28.4 million (nonexistent last year). Those two items add up to $47 million, which is more than the $45.4 million increase in net loss.
The good news is that these are hopefully one-time, nonrecurring items that shouldn't pop up again in upcoming quarters, allowing Tilray's financials to recover. But it's never good to see this level of writedowns, especially when they effectively double a company's losses. One consequence of the inventory writedowns is that they sent Tilray's gross margin into the negative. Without the adjustments, the company says its gross margin would've come in at positive 26%.
When factoring out these nonrecurring items, Tilray's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) loss was just $12.3 million. That's an improvement over the prior-year period, when its adjusted EBITDA loss was $18 million.
While the higher loss is concerning at first glance, the real takeaway is that investors need to keep an eye out for impairments and writedowns in future quarters. If they start becoming more common, that could be a sign of problems.
The company is expecting to see an improvement in its bottom line and to at least hit breakeven adjusted EBITDA by the end of the fourth quarter.
Sales were up by just 10%
Another area of concern for investors is likely with the top line, where Tilray's sales of $50.4 million rose by just 10% from the same period last year. Cannabis investors like pot stocks for their growth, and a modest 10% increase isn't going to cut it for many of them.
Tilray's cannabis revenue rose by 16%, while hemp sales -- which accounted for 40% of its total revenue -- grew at a rate of just 2%. However, it was encouraging to see the company achieve sales growth of 349% in its international segment, with revenue climbing to $8.3 million, well higher than Canadian medical sales of just $3.8 million.
Aside from hemp, Tilray did generate at least 16% sales growth in most of its other segments. The one glaring decline was in bulk sales, which were down 94%, from $6.7 million a year ago to just $402,000 this past quarter. CFO Michael Kruteck stated on Tilray's earnings call that the company is moving away from bulk sales to prioritize other areas of the business where it can achieve higher margins.
While the results look disappointing from afar, Tilray generated some good growth numbers during the quarter. Its diverse operations allow the company to be less dependent on just on a single segment for growth, and that makes Tilray a much stronger investment overall.
No, Tilray isn't in trouble
Despite an underwhelming performance in Q2, there's no reason for Tilray investors to panic. Its net loss for the quarter was actually an improvement from last year when factoring out nonrecurring adjustments, including writedowns. Its sales also looked much worse due to the drop in bulk sales, but Tilray showed strong numbers in other areas to make up for that. Although things could have gone better for the company in Q2, there were also many positives, and in the end, there's no glaring reason why the pot stock's a worse buy today than it was a couple of weeks ago.
In just the past year, Tilray's stock has plummeted 85%, far worse than the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF, which declined over 60% during the same time frame. If management can indeed deliver positive adjusted EBITDA numbers this year, that could be what the stock needs to turn its fortunes around.
Although there's some risk here, Tilray doesn't look to be in trouble or imminent danger, and its stock could even turn out to be a great contrarian buy.