What happened

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.  

A tiny shopping basket filled with cannabis leaves.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

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.     

Now what

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.