Aurora Cannabis shares rise after a dire earnings report that was mostly expected

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Aurora Cannabis Inc. shares rose 3% Thursday, after the company posted a set of earnings that were mostly expected, after the company last week unveiled a major overhaul of its operations.

The Edmonton, Alberta-based company ACB, +0.92% ACB, +1.56%  said it had a net loss of C$1.3 billion ($981 million), or C$1.18 a share, in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, after a loss of C$182 million, or breakeven, in the year-earlier period. Revenue net of excise taxes came to C$56.027 million, up from C$54.178 million a year ago.

The FactSet consensus was for revenue of C$60.5 million and a loss of just 8 cents a share.

The company was expected to post a loss of about C$1 billion, thanks to goodwill and asset impairment charges that were disclosed last week. The company said Chief Executive Terry Booth was retiring and named Executive Chairman Michael Singer as interim CEO. It said it was laying off 500 people, cutting capital expenditures to about C$100 million and restructuring debt, hurt by the slower-than-expected rollout of legal cannabis in Canada.

For more, read: Aurora Cannabis stock is falling as CEO steps down, ‘sweeping’ cost-cutting plan announced

The news sent the stock down about 16% and prompted a fresh round of hand-wringing from sell-side analysts, most of whom rate the stock as either a sell or a hold.

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Aurora — and other Canadian weed companies — made a batch of acquisitions in the heyday of pot-stock mania, buying assets at values that now appear to be inflated. Aurora was the king of such deals, accruing about $2.4 billion in goodwill on its balance sheet, a large portion of which was from its acquisition of Medreleaf.

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The company said average net selling prices for cannabis, including provisions, fell to C$5.54 per gram from C$5.68 in the prior quarter. Aurora produced 30,691 kilograms of cannabis in the quarter, compared to 41,436 kilograms in the prior quarter.

Looking ahead, “Aurora reiterates its outlook for fiscal third quarter that cannabis revenue will be impacted by previously mentioned industry headwinds, and as such will likely show modest to no growth relative to fiscal Q2’s cannabis revenue, excluding provisions, of approximately $65 million,” the company said.

See also: Aurora Cannabis stock slides after dilutive bond deal, drags broader sector lower

The stock has fallen 79% in the last 12 months, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ, +0.61%  has fallen 54% and the S&P 500 SPX, -0.09%  has gained 24%.

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