When Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) last reported quarterly results on August 1, the stock rallied almost 41% driven by an increase in profits and a shift to GAAP income. This also helped set a positive tone for the entire industry, though things went downhill from there.
The stock has lost 64% in the trailing 12 months, worse than the industry’s decline of 49%. The industry weakness was primarily due to weak results from other pot firms, scandals, as well as concerns relating to the vaping business. As vaping products make up an important part of Aphria’s line-up, the recent fatalities add uncertainty to the stock.
A few questions relating to this are likely to crop up during the post-earnings conference call next week. The Leamington, Ontario-based firm will report first-quarter 2020 earnings results before the opening bell on Tuesday, October 15.
Analysts expect the marijuana company to report revenues of CAD 138.4 million and a loss of CAD 0.01 per share. Given the prevailing negative trend in the industry, any wider losses could lead to a huge sell-off.
The market would also keep its eyes glued to fiscal 2020 guidance. Aphria had earlier projected a positive outlook of CAD 650 – 700 million in annual revenues, as well as adjusted EBITDA in the range of CAD 88 – 95 million.
Production capacity is likely to come under the scanner despite the management’s positive comments during the last quarter. The company had said it is on track for an annual production capacity of 255,000 kilograms when all of its facilities are fully licensed. However, the recent incident of peer firm Aleafia Health Inc. terminating a supply agreement it had with Aphria for allegedly not meeting supply obligations has raised a few eyebrows.
If the two companies fail to reach a meaningful middle-ground within 30 days, the deal will stand canceled. Aphria has said in a statement that it would defend itself if the deal is terminated after the talks.
Meanwhile, more regions expressing their desire to open up to marijuana –including Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – is clearly a silver lining to the industry at the moment.
In the retrospect, with too many headwinds at play, Aphria may not be able to repeat what it achieved last quarter. A lot would depend on convincing the investors on its growth strategy above and beyond vaping products.