New leadership at a company can often get investors excited about a stock, but that wasn't the case on Tuesday with Aurora Cannabis (ACB 6.06%) analyst Glenn Matson, who tracks the marijuana company for Ladenburg Thalmann. Matson downgraded his recommendation on Aurora, shifting it to neutral from his previous buy.
The downgrade follows the company's news that it has tapped former Chief Commercial Officer Miguel Martin to be its permanent CEO, replacing interim chief Michael Singer. On the same day, Aurora provided several business updates. Among these were fourth-quarter revenue and gross-margin forecasts.
Discouragingly, the company expects a quarter-over-quarter decline in the former, at 70 million Canadian dollars ($53 million) to CA$72 million ($55 million) from the third-quarter's CA$75.5 million ($58 million). It did not proffer any net profit estimates, which might be telling.
Matson, for one, is growing less optimistic about Aurora's prospects for landing comfortably in the black. While he feels that the company's cash position is strong enough to meaningfully reduce debt, "we are less confident it can meet its profitability targets."
And while Aurora's native market should begin to coalesce, he isn't necessarily convinced the company will exploit the situation: "[W]e expect [Aurora] should emerge to benefit from a Canadian market post-consolidation, though we wait for further evidence of progress on both a company level and across the market before we grow more constructive."
Aurora was hardly a favored marijuana stock on Tuesday. The stock closed nearly 12% down on the day, well exceeding the declines of the top equity indexes.