Shares of the Canadian pot giant Aphria (APHA) are under serious pressure today. The company's stock was down by a whopping 13.4% as of 9:37 a.m. EDT Thursday morning.
What's spooking investors today? Ahead of the opening bell, Aphria released its 2021 fiscal first-quarter results. While the company posted a net loss per share for the quarter that was modestly narrower than expected ($0.02 versus $0.03), Aphria whiffed badly on revenue for the quarter. First-quarter revenue, in fact, came in 8.7% lower than FactSet's consensus estimate for the three-month period.
Aphria's brain trust placed the blame for this quarterly revenue miss squarely on the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, the company noted that first-quarter distribution revenue fell by approximately 17 million Canadian dollars ($12.9 million) year over year due to fewer elective medical procedures and in-person visits to physicians and pharmacies during the quarter as a result of the pandemic. That's the silver lining from this otherwise disappointing earnings report.
Unfortunately, it's not altogether clear when Aphria's distribution revenue will get back on track. The COVID-19 pandemic is still slowing down in-person visits to doctors' offices and pharmacies across the globe. In other words, investors probably shouldn't expect this key area of Aphria's business to rebound anytime soon.
Is Aphria's stock a bad-news buy? Like almost all marijuana companies, Aphria is facing an extremely challenging operating environment at the moment. As such, it might be a good idea to watch this small-cap cannabis stock from the safety of the sidelines for the time being.