Aurora Cannabis (ACB) Downgraded to D+ at TheStreet

TheStreet downgraded shares of Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) from a c rating to a d+ rating in a report published on Monday, February 25th. Several …

Aurora Cannabis Inc logoTheStreet downgraded shares of Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) from a c rating to a d+ rating in a report published on Monday, February 25th.

Several other analysts have also weighed in on ACB. GMP Securities reissued a hold rating and issued a $9.50 price objective on shares of Aurora Cannabis in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on Aurora Cannabis in a report on Thursday, February 21st. They set a neutral rating for the company. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on Aurora Cannabis in a report on Monday, February 25th. They set a buy rating for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $9.50.

Shares of NYSE:ACB traded down $0.08 during trading on Monday, hitting $8.99. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 56,250,495 shares, compared to its average volume of 29,169,904. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08, a quick ratio of 2.50 and a current ratio of 3.31. Aurora Cannabis has a fifty-two week low of $4.05 and a fifty-two week high of $12.52. The stock has a market cap of $8.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 74.92 and a beta of 2.90.

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The company reported ($0.04) EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.06) by $0.02. The business had revenue of $41.00 million for the quarter. Aurora Cannabis had a positive return on equity of 3.95% and a negative net margin of 57.54%. On average, equities research analysts predict that Aurora Cannabis will post -0.17 EPS for the current year.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Financial Advocates Investment Management bought a new position in Aurora Cannabis in the 4th quarter worth approximately $74,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new position in Aurora Cannabis in the 4th quarter worth approximately $26,000. Advisory Services Network LLC bought a new position in Aurora Cannabis in the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new position in Aurora Cannabis in the 4th quarter worth approximately $33,000. Finally, Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA bought a new position in Aurora Cannabis in the 4th quarter worth approximately $36,000. 8.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis Inc produces and distributes medical cannabis products. It is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across various segments of the cannabis value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding, genetics research, production, derivatives, high value-add product development, home cultivation, wholesale, and retail distribution.

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Jefferies Financial Group Reiterates Buy Rating for Aurora Cannabis (ACB)

Jefferies Financial Group restated their buy rating on shares of Aurora Cannabis (TSE:ACB) in a research report released on Monday, February 25th.

Aurora Cannabis Inc logoJefferies Financial Group restated their buy rating on shares of Aurora Cannabis (TSE:ACB) in a research report released on Monday, February 25th. They currently have a C$12.00 target price on the stock.

ACB has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Eight Capital cut their price target on Aurora Cannabis from C$17.00 to C$15.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Seaport Global Securities reissued a neutral rating on shares of Aurora Cannabis in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of C$13.50.

Shares of ACB stock traded down C$0.10 during midday trading on Monday, reaching C$11.92. 20,566,041 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 18,717,105. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 8.08, a quick ratio of 1.89 and a current ratio of 3.31. Aurora Cannabis has a 1 year low of C$5.29 and a 1 year high of C$16.24. The company has a market capitalization of $10.77 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of -120.40.

Aurora Cannabis (TSE:ACB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 11th. The company reported C($0.05) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of C($0.06) by C$0.01. The business had revenue of C$54.18 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of C$52.13 million. Sell-side analysts forecast that Aurora Cannabis will post 0.0300000005785921 earnings per share for the current year.

A hedge fund recently bought a new stake in Aurora Cannabis stock. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc (TSE:ACB) during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm acquired 11,669 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $112,000.

Aurora Cannabis Company Profile

Aurora Cannabis Inc is a Canada-based company engaged in the production and distribution of medical cannabis. The Company is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across every key segment of the value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding and genetics research, cannabis, and hemp production, derivatives, home cultivation, wholesale and retail distribution.

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Analyst Recommendations for Aurora Cannabis (TSE:ACB)

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Investors Buy Aurora Cannabis (ACB) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $131.48 million flowed into the stock on the …

Aurora Cannabis logoInvestors bought shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $131.48 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $92.16 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $39.32 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Aurora Cannabis had the 22nd highest net in-flow for the day. Aurora Cannabis traded down ($0.08) for the day and closed at $8.99

ACB has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on Aurora Cannabis in a report on Thursday, February 21st. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. GMP Securities reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $9.50 price target on shares of Aurora Cannabis in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Cowen initiated coverage on Aurora Cannabis in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Jefferies Financial Group initiated coverage on Aurora Cannabis in a report on Monday, February 25th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Aurora Cannabis from a “c” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Monday, February 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $9.50.

The company has a quick ratio of 2.50, a current ratio of 3.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08. The firm has a market cap of $8.06 billion, a PE ratio of 74.92 and a beta of 2.90.

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The company reported ($0.04) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.06) by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $41.00 million during the quarter. Aurora Cannabis had a positive return on equity of 3.95% and a negative net margin of 57.54%. As a group, research analysts predict that Aurora Cannabis Inc will post -0.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. ETF Managers Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Aurora Cannabis in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $40,454,000. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Aurora Cannabis in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,915,000. TD Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Aurora Cannabis in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $16,657,000. JW Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Aurora Cannabis in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $10,734,000. Finally, D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Aurora Cannabis in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $10,504,000. 8.16% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Aurora Cannabis Company Profile (NYSE:ACB)

Aurora Cannabis Inc produces and distributes medical cannabis products. It is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across various segments of the cannabis value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding, genetics research, production, derivatives, high value-add product development, home cultivation, wholesale, and retail distribution.

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Government, industry must work together to define cannabis promotions

… that Health Canada would investigate the sponsorship of a charitable fundraiser by two cannabis companies (Canopy Growth Corp. and Halo Labs), …

Part of cannabis laws and regulations

The promotion of cannabis has always been polarizing – should it be as restrictive as possible in order to not attract youth, or be more permissive in recognition of the importance of brand distinction? The federal Cannabis Act adopted the former approach, but cannabis is big business, and big business calls for marketing. As a result, the industry has been wrestling with what activities are allowed under the law and, often, the lines can get blurry.

Recently, it was reported that Health Canada would investigate the sponsorship of a charitable fundraiser by two cannabis companies (Canopy Growth Corp. and Halo Labs), triggering a national discussion as to what is and is not allowed to be sponsored by cannabis companies under the act.

Notably, the act does not actually prohibit sponsorships of events or activities by cannabis companies. Rather, it is the promotion of a sponsorship by a cannabis company that is prohibited (by “cannabis company,” I am broadly referring to any person that produces, sells, distributes or provides a cannabis product, accessory or related service).

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That distinction is not intuitively clear. After all, what is a sponsorship if not a promotional opportunity? Sure, some companies are naturally charitable, but sponsorships promise brand placement and engagement. Promotion is arguably inseparable from every sponsorship.

I suppose a sponsor could request anonymity for its financial support, but if the object of the act was to prohibit sponsorships to the point that that was necessary, why wouldn’t the legislation just outright ban sponsorships by cannabis companies? Donations can remain anonymous. That would have been easier to draft and to understand.

As a result, I have to believe that Canada’s legislators must have intended for some degree of sponsorship by a cannabis company to be allowed. So, where could that daylight possibly exist?

Maybe there are some forms of sponsorships that do not rise to the level of promotion after all. The act contains a fairly broad definition of what constitutes a “promotion,” namely making a representation about a thing or service that is “likely to influence and shape attitudes, beliefs and behaviours” about that thing or service. That’s a useful starting point. If a sponsorship involved nothing more than a cannabis company’s logo placement on event materials, could that logo be considered likely to shape or influence anything?

Take away the conventional benefits that are used to attract large sponsors – no opportunity to make remarks or introductions about a brand, no commercials, no giveaways, no activations. If a cannabis company does not express its brand in that way, I have a hard time seeing where the influencing and shaping might occur.

The stakes are high. If found liable for non-compliance, the cannabis company could face penalties ranging from warning letters to licence suspensions or revocations to massive fines. Compounding the challenges for cannabis brands and the events seeking their sponsorship dollars, the act also prohibits the publication or dissemination by any person of a prohibited promotion on behalf of a cannabis company. So the charities, event organizers and advertisers all need to ensure they are clear on whether the proposed sponsorship is offside the act.

Within days of the sponsorship investigation being announced, Health Canada released a notice to all licensed cannabis producers reminding them of the restrictions on promotional activities, including sponsorships. The letter stated that promotion prohibitions are included in the act “in support of its objectives, including … protecting young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis. Promotion can have a significant impact on the appeal, social acceptance and ‘normalization’ of a particular product, and in turn its level of use.”

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There is a lot to unpack in that excerpt.

It is beyond the scope of this column to explore the benefits and ills associated with normalizing cannabis. But, as an adviser to companies trying to navigate the legalities of sponsorship, there are some important takeaways here. Compare the words above with the definition of “promote” from the act – “influence,” “shape,” “appeal,” “acceptance.” There is consistency.

Sponsorship, in and of itself, is not the issue. Impact is. The old playbook for sponsorships does not apply to cannabis companies. Sponsorship benefits, brand placement and the advertisement of those sponsorships must all be scrutinized. Be bland. Be distant. If brands are trying to engage with their customers, cannabis brands must actively disengage. Don’t tell a story. At least not in the usual way.

The restrictions are understandable. Cannabis is a unique product, with health and societal risks and attributes that are not completely analogous to any one of tobacco, alcohol or pharmaceuticals.

But a prohibition in absolute terms presupposes that the aims of the act cannot be balanced with the realities of traditional corporate sponsorship. Sponsorship raises money for worthy causes, and there is now a risk of a deprivation of those funds from certain potential supporters. Young persons can be restricted entry to an event, eliminating the risk that they would access the sponsorship placements. Pharmaceutical companies engage in sponsorship, but it appears that equating pharmaceuticals with medical cannabis would be tantamount to normalization, and normalization is apparently to be avoided.

I feel as though we are all stakeholders in this cannabis experiment together. There is a coast-to-coast conversation under way about what these laws mean and why, and I believe good corporate citizenry among cannabis companies exists to help the government realize its policy objectives. But it will take time to get it right, so I hope the dialogue between government and industry remains open and that undue sanction can be avoided in the meantime.

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Chad Finkelstein is a partner at the law firm of Dale & Lessmann LLP (www.dalelessmann.com) in Toronto. He can be reached at cfinkelstein@dalelessmann.comor followed on Twitter at @ChadFinkelstein.

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Hexo Corp. was a bright spot in a lackluster marijuana sector Thursday

Aurora Cannabis Inc. shares ACB, -1.16% ACB, -0.75% fell 1.4%, shedding some of their prior-day gains made on the news that it has hired billionaire …

Quebec-based Hexo’s U.S.-listed shares HEXO, +2.52% rose 2.2%, while its Toronto Stock Exchange-listed shares HEXO, +3.07% rose about 3.6%, as most of its rivals fell.

The company said it had a net loss of C$4.33 million ($3.25 million) in its fiscal second quarter to Jan. 31, narrower than the C$8.95 million loss posted in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose to C$13.4 million from C$1.2 million. The company sold 2,537 kg of adult-use cannabis, up from 952 kg in the previous quarter, at an average price of C$5.83 a gram, up from C$5.45 in the previous quarter. Medical cannabis revenue came to C$1.171 million, down from C$1.182 million a year ago and C$1.391 million in the prior quarter. The price per gram of medical cannabis rose slightly to C$9.15 from C$9.12.

Hexo produced about 4,938 kg of dried cannabis in the quarter, up from 3,550 kg in the October quarter. Headcount rose by 32% to 374 employees as the company ramped up production and new facilities came online.

Also in the black Thursday were shares of cannabis real-estate investment trust Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. IIPR, -0.80% which climbed 3.2% after the company posted a 111% increase in revenue in its latest quarter.

The company said it had fourth-quarter net income of $2.3 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $284,000, or 7 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $4.8 million from $2.3 million in the year-ago period.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. shares ACB, -1.16%ACB, -0.75% fell 1.4%, shedding some of their prior-day gains made on the news that it has hired billionaire hedge-fund manager and activist Nelson Peltz as an adviser.

Tilray Inc. shares TLRY, +0.38% reversed early losses to trade up 0.6%. Tilray said Wednesday it has hired former Goldman Sachs Managing Director Andrew Pucher as chief corporate development officer, tasked with leading the team responsible for mergers and acquisitions and corporate investments. Pucher was most recently Goldman’s head of Canadian Diversified Investment Banking, which included coverage of the cannabis industry.

Tilray’s most recent deals included a 50/50 joint venture with AB InBevBUD, -1.10% to develop THC and CBD beverages, and a global tie-up with Sandoz, a part of Swiss drug company Novartis AG NVS, +0.62%NOVN, +1.18% to distribute its medical products. Last month, the company announced a $317 million cash-and-stock deal for Manitoba Harvest, a company that claims to be the world’s biggest hemp food maker. Tilray said it expects to use the deal to launch CBD-derived products in the U.S. as early as this summer.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF, +0.36% was up 0.4%. MedMen was expelled from the New York Medical Cannabis Association on Wednesday, according to MJBizdaily.com. The association had said it might cut ties with California-based MedMen in February, in response to a lawsuit filed by the company’s former finance head, alleging that he was exposed to racial, homophobic and misogynistic epithets and slurs, drug and alcohol abuse and personal humiliation, while at the company.

Elsewhere in the sector, Canopy Growth Corp. CGC, -1.67%WEED, -1.69% was down 1.9% and Cronos Group Inc. CRON, -2.55% was down 3.0%.

Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Inc. TGODF, -1.52%TGOD, -0.69% was down 1%, CannTrust Holdings Inc. CTST, -1.69%TRST, -1.82% was down 2%, Aleafia Heath Inc. ALEF, +1.36%ALEF, +1.36% was up 2.4% and OrganiGram Holdings Inc. OGRMF, -0.67% was down 0.8%.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF HMMJ, -0.81% was down 0.8% and the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ, -0.67% was down 0.6%.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.13% was down 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, -0.05% was down 0.01%.

Additional reporting by Max A. Cherney in San Francisco


The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) was trading at $36.65 per share on Thursday afternoon, down $0.25 (-0.68%). Year-to-date, MJ has gained 12.68%, versus a 5.73% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

MJ currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of C (Neutral), and is ranked #59 of 75 ETFs in the Global Equities ETFs category.


This article is brought to you courtesy of MarketWatch.

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