Aurora Cannabis Inc. on Thursday reported a bigger quarterly loss and lower sales than expected, but the Canadian pot producer stuck with its target of hitting an adjusted measure of profit by the end of the year.
reported a fiscal first-quarter net loss of C$51.9 million, compared with C$11.9 million in the same quarter last year and a massive C$618.8 million loss in the prior quarter. Aurora’s earnings release did not disclose per-share figures.
Total revenue came in at C$49.3 million, down slightly from the prior quarter and down from C$60.1 million in the prior-year quarter.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected Aurora to lose C$33.7 million in the quarter, or 13 Canadian cents a share, on sales of C$52.6 million.
The acquisition of Thrive Cannabis helped sales, Aurora executives said. But they noted a cyberattack at the online Ontario Cannabis Store, along with store closures due to a strike in British Columbia, acted as a counterweight. They also said the decrease from the prior year “was attributable to a reduction in the volumes sold of discount, low-margin brands, and replaced with premium higher-margin brands.”
Management said it still expected reach a positive adjusted EBITDA by Dec. 31. Adjusted EBITDA — or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — is the cannabis industry’s preferred, and more generous, profit metric. The company said it finished the quarter with around C$393 million in cash.
Shares rose 1.5% after hours.
Like other Canadian pot producers, Aurora has struggled with years of losses, write-downs, overproduction and facility closures. In October, it repurchased C$31.3 million in convertible debt for C$29.8 million in an effort to slim down its debt. Aurora had roughly C$380 million of cash at that time.
Aurora has leaned into its medical cannabis business, which includes Canada and a handful of nascent markets in Europe.
Medical cannabis sales fell 23% from a year earlier to C$31.6 million in Thursday’s report. That figure was also down 14% from the prior quarter due to “timing of shipments into certain international markets during the prior quarter,” executives said.
Recreational cannabis sales, meanwhile, were C$13.7 million. That marked a 9% gain from the previous quarter, but a 28% drop from the same period last year.
In September, executives reported an increase in its recreational weed sales for its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by the Thrive acquisition. Aurora has also bought a controlling stake in vegetable grower Bevo Farms.
However, shares took a hit at that time, after Aurora booked another impairment charge, of C$505.1 million, or US$377.8 million, putting its net loss for its fourth quarter at C$618.8 million. The impairment, management said, was “triggered by changes in cannabis market conditions, and in the current capital market environment including higher rates of borrowing and lower foreign exchange rates.”
Aurora Cannabis stock has tumbled 76% this year, compared with a 17% drop for the S&P 500 index