Aurora Cannabis pot sales and losses growing faster than expected, shares fall

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Aurora Cannabis Inc. sales and losses both grew faster than expected in its fiscal third quarter, according to an earnings report released late Tuesday that sent shares about 2% lower in after-hours trading.

Canada-based Aurora

ACB, +4.49%

ACB, +4.52%

 reported fiscal third-quarter losses of C$160.1 million, or 16 cents a share, versus losses of C$20 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Aurora grew gross revenue to C$75.2 million, up from C$16.1 million in the year-ago period. After excluding excise taxes paid to the Canadian government, Aurora reported net revenue of C$65.2 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet on average expected fiscal third-quarter adjusted losses of 5 cents a share on gross revenue of C$67.6 million. For the fiscal fourth quarter, analysts on average model adjusted losses of 3 cents a share and revenue of C$119.4 million. The company said it lost C$77.6 million from operations, nearly double in what it lost in the year-ago period.

Compared with the fiscal second quarter, when the company sold its first recreation pot in Canada, net revenue grew 20%.

Aurora’s appetite for convertible debentures contributed to the company’s losses — as Aurora’s share price increases, the company must re-value the convertible debt that it has on its books. In the fiscal third quarter, that resulted in losses of C$101.5 million.

During the fiscal third quarter, Aurora also said it took impairment charges of C$9 million, due to changes related to “assets that support the production and sale of indoor home cultivation systems” and a decline in value of “certain” permits and licenses.

Aurora said it sold C$29.1 million of medical cannabis and C$29.6 million of recreational pot in the fiscal third quarter. Compared with the previous quarter, which was the first to include nearly three full months of legal Canadian recreational pot sales, Aurora grew recreational revenue 37%.

The company said it produced 15,590 kilograms of pot during the quarter, and sold 9,160 kilograms. Aurora said it nearly doubled its product because its new facility in Alberta started operations and its Ontario facilities expanded. The Alberta facility, called Aurora Sky, is expected to produce 25,000 kilograms by the end of the fiscal fourth quarter.

Aurora executives are expected to host a conference call to discuss the earnings report at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

Aurora stock has gained 37% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index

SPX, +0.80%

  has risen 3.8%. The Horizons Marijuana Life Science ETF

HMMJ, +3.24%

 has gained 14% in the past year, and the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF

MJ, +2.37%

 is up 8.7%.