Shares of Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB) were trading down 2.5% as of 2 p.m. EST Friday, after being as much as 8% higher earlier in the day. Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA), another Canadian pot grower, also traded 6% higher before giving up most of those gains. And shares of Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL) were down 8% after being higher earlier in the trading session.
There has been some news driving the stocks this week, but of the three, only Sundial has new information today for investors.
After Sundial's stock soared 50% this week, the company announced today it is taking advantage of the increase to raise needed capital. The company said it will issue securities to raise up to $200 million, and also filed a prospectus for a new at-the-market equity program for up to $150 million of its common shares.
This came after Sundail's shares rose this week on the heels of a United Nations commission vote to remove medical cannabis from the list of Schedule IV drugs created at the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
The removal from the category that includes heroin doesn't mean any immediate change in the legal status of cannabis, since individual governments make those decisions. But it is a symbolic change that helps support the growing movement for legalization.
Pot stocks jumped on the news earlier this week. Sundial, like Aurora Cannabis, has seen its shares pummeled this year. Sundial stock has lost 76% since the start of 2020, while Aurora is down 58%. Aphria has bucked that trend, with shares rising 63% so far in 2020.
Aphria, though, has made a move that should drive future growth in the business. Aurora has spent much of the year restructuring by closing operations, cutting jobs, and raising capital. Aphria recently closed on its acquisition of U.S. craft brewer SweetWater Brewing Company.
Aphria says it will use the $300 million acquisition to help expand its addressable market, utilizing SweetWater's U.S. infrastructure "to accelerate Aphria's entry into the U.S. ahead of federal legalization of cannabis to fuel sustainable profitable growth."
Aphria is going in a different direction than both Aurora and Sundial, with a much lower debt level relative to its equity. Sundial said it will use proceeds from its new share issuance "to continue to retire its indebtedness" as well as to grow the business.
A growing business is what investors really need to see for Aurora and Sundial Growers to be on a sustainable path toward profitability. At least Aphria has that path in the works already.