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Aurora Cannabis is still a buy, says PI Financial

Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis’ (Aurora Cannabis Stock Quote, Chart TSX:ACB) fourth quarter earnings came in below expectations for analyst Jason Zandberg of PI Financial. Nevertheless, Zandberg is maintaining his “Buy” rating and $15.00 target for ACB, representing a 17.5 per cent return as of publication date.

Edmonton’s Aurora Cannabis reported its Q4 2018 financials on Tuesday, producing revenue of $19.1 million, up 223 per cent year-over-year and up 19 per cent over last quarter. EBITDA was negative $17.6 million, which compared to negative $3.4 million last Q4, while the company’s EPS was $0.13 versus negative $0.01 last year.

"Our high-pace, consistent execution has enabled us to complete a number of transformative acquisitions, bringing together industry-leading companies in terms of scale, quality, efficiencies, plant and medical science, product development and innovation, brands, and international distribution,” said CEO Terry Booth in a press release . "With coast-to-coast supply arrangements and our strategic investment in Alcanna, we are very well positioned to capitalize on the significant adult consumer use
opportunity in Canada.”

ACB’s fourth quarter came in below Zandberg’s estimates for revenue and EBITDA at $28.4 million and negative $4.1 million, respectively, but the analyst nonetheless called the financial results a positive.

“Aurora continues its pace as the fastest growing licensed producer,” says Zandberg in an earnings update to clients on Wednesday. “With the addition of MedReleaf, ACB’s pro-forma revenue of $33.1 million this quarter was the highest amount by any Canadian LP to-date. That said, the recreational market is not likely to mirror the market share stats of medical, but we do believe that Aurora will continue to be among the majors in Canada
and globally.”

Aurora sold 1,617 kg of cannabis over the quarter, 19 per cent higher than Q3 and 114 per cent higher than last year. The company’s cash costs per gram were $1.70, more than last quarter’s $1.53 but the new figure accounts for CanniMed’s higher per unit production costs, says Zandberg, who adjusted his estimates.

“We are forecasting revenue of $406 million and $1,070 million in FY19 and FY20 (previously $464 million and $1,078 million) while our EBITDA estimates for the same period are $50.3 million and $316 million (previously $80.8 million and $332 million),” he says. “We are introducing our FY21 revenue and EBITDA estimates of $1,425 million and $439 million, respectively.”

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About The Author /

Jayson is a writer, researcher and educator with a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Ottawa. His interests range from bioethics and innovations in the health sciences to governance, social justice and the history of ideas.
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