Aurora Cannabis: 3 Off-the-Radar Numbers in Its Q4 Report You'll Want to Know


2019-09-12 08:00:35 Motley Fool


The big day is nearly here for cannabis investors. On Wednesday, Sept. 11, following the market close, Aurora Cannabis will release its highly anticipated fiscal fourth-quarter operating results. As you're probably aware, Aurora Cannabis is expected to be Canada's leading cannabis producer, with at least 625,000 kilos of run-rate production by the end of June 2020. It's also been leading its peers in terms of run-rate production thus far in 2019, with more than 150,000 kilos of run-rate annual output through the end of March. Thus, investors are very interested to see what another quarter of ramping up has done to Aurora's bottom line. Image source: Getty Images. But unlike most marijuana stocks, Aurora has been relatively transparent with regard to providing sales guidance well in advance of its quarterly reports. In August, the company guided Wall Street to expect 100 million Canadian dollars to CA$107 million in net fourth-quarter sales, which includes the reduction of excise taxes paid from gross revenue. This suggests gross revenue might come in closer to CA$120 million, which was higher than analysts had been forecasting at the time of its preliminary sales update. The company also reiterated that it was on track to achieve positive recurring EBITDA during the fourth quarter. However, keep in mind that positive EBITDA doesn't mean that Aurora Cannabis will necessarily be profitable, especially taking into account the bounty of one-time benefits and expenses it regularly accounts for on its income statement. Wall Street's consensus continues to call for a modest net loss for the company in fiscal 2020. Aurora's preliminary guidance increased its quarterly production available for sale as well to a new range of 25,000 kilos to 30,000 kilos. The company's previous forecast had called for 25,000 kilos. This boost jibes with the company's message that production ramp-up is commencing on schedule. In other words, with Aurora spilling the beans on its sales guidance and production, the headline numbers for Aurora's fourth-quarter report are already pretty well known. But if you wind up looking past the headlines, there are three numbers you'll want to pay very close attention to. Image source: Getty Images. Maybe one of the most exciting things about Aurora Cannabis is that it has a chance to be one of the lowest-cost marijuana producers in the world. It's not necessarily the techniques that the company is using to grow cannabis, so much as the sheer size of Aurora's operations that could allow economies of scale to really come into play. The fourth quarter could be our first real look at how a large-scale grower pushes production costs down. Of course, production costs are one side of the coin. We're also going to want to see how well dried cannabis prices held up on a per-gram basis, as well as cannabis extracts. Given the persistent supply shortages throughout Canada, I'd expect prices to have held up pretty well from the sequential third quarter. Putting these factors together will give us our first under-the-radar figure: gross margin. Aurora's gross margin has consistently been higher than its mid-cap peers in recent quarters, but I'm still not convinced that operating profitability is imminent. Nevertheless, an improvement of a few percentage points in gross margin from the sequential third quarter (Q3 gross margin was 55%) would go a long way to confirming to Wall Street that Aurora is on the path to profitability in fiscal 2021, if not 2020. Image source: Getty Images. The next figure investors should keep a close eye on is international sales, which in the sequential third quarter came in at a pretty anemic CA$4 million -- although this was a 40% increase from the sequential second quarter. International sales are pretty much the future for Aurora Cannabis. Aurora has a cultivation, export, or research presence in more countries worldwide (25) than any other marijuana producer. These overseas markets are going to be especially important if and when dried cannabis production overwhelms the Canadian marketplace. Having up to two dozen external sales channels at its disposal should help ensure that Aurora's gross margin doesn't nosedive because of domestic oversupply. Furthermore, the company has a very clear stated purpose of focusing on the medical side of the industry. Even though the medical cannabis patient pool is considerably smaller than recreational weed, the margins and pricing power are substantially higher. Medical patients tend to use cannabis more frequently, buy regularly, and are more willing to purchase high-margin derivative products. With the exception of Uruguay and Canada, the other roughly 40 countries worldwide to have legalized marijuana to some degree have done so for medical purposes. While I'm not expecting international revenue to make up a large portion of sales, it would be nice to see Aurora tack on far more than the CA$4 million registered in the fiscal third quarter. Image source: Getty Images. A final figure you'll want to know that Aurora Cannabis is certain not to highlight in its operating results or conference call is the company's ballooning goodwill, which stood at CA$3.18 billion at the end of March. This CA$3.18 billion represents 57% of Aurora's total assets. Goodwill is simply the premium that one company pays for another above and beyond tangible assets. Some amount of premium is perfectly normal when making a purchase, as it's the dangling carrot that can entice a board of directors to approve being bought out by a larger peer. In an ideal world, the purchasing company will monetize patents and expand upon existing assets to fully recoup the premium that's been paid for another business. Unfortunately, things aren't always ideal. In the case of Aurora Cannabis, it's made well over a dozen acquisitions over the past three years, and they've nearly all contributed to its rapidly rising goodwill. Of course, none has been a bigger culprit than its CA$2.64 billion all-stock purchase of MedReleaf, of which CA$2 billion has been classified as goodwill. In my personal opinion, it's going to be virtually impossible for Aurora to recoup CA$3.18 billion in goodwill. Rather, I find it likely that Aurora will admit that it overpaid for some of its deals and eventually write down a portion of its goodwill. For the fiscal fourth quarter, investors should keep a close eye on whether or not goodwill rises significantly, as well as whether or not it grows as a percentage of total assets. In my view, a positive result would be seeing goodwill stay relatively flat, with its value as a percentage of total assets declining below 55%. Now that you know what to watch out for, we simply wait for Aurora Cannabis to deliver the goods after the bell on Wednesday.
大麻投资者的大喜日子即将到来。9月11日,星期三,市场收盘后,奥罗拉大麻将公布其备受期待的第四财季经营业绩。 如你所知,极光大麻预计将成为加拿大最大的大麻生产商,到2020年6月底至少有625000公斤的产量。2019年迄今为止,该公司的年产量一直领先于同行,截至3月底,年产量超过15万公斤。因此,投资者非常有兴趣看到又一个季度的上涨对奥罗拉的底线造成了什么影响。 图片来源:盖蒂图片社。 但与大多数大麻股票不同的是,奥罗拉在季报公布前提供销售指导方面相对透明。今年8月,该公司引导华尔街预计第四季度净销售额将达到1亿加元至1.07亿加元,其中包括从总收入中扣除消费税。这表明总收入可能接近1.2亿加元,高于分析师在其初步销售更新时的预测。 该公司还重申,它有望在第四季度实现正的经常性息税折旧摊销前利润。然而,请记住,息税折旧及摊销前利润为正值并不意味着奥罗拉大麻公司一定会盈利,特别是考虑到其在损益表上定期计入的一次性福利和费用的丰厚回报。华尔街的共识仍然要求公司在2020财年实现适度的净亏损。 Aurora的初步指导意见将其季度可供销售的产量增加到了25000公斤到30000公斤的新范围。公司先前的预测是25000公斤。这一提振与该公司的信息格格不入,即生产能力的提升正如期开始。 换言之,随着奥罗拉在销售指导和生产上大做文章,奥罗拉第四季度报告的标题数字已经相当有名。但是,如果你最终忽略了头条新闻,有三个数字你会非常关注。 图片来源:盖蒂图片社。 或许奥罗拉大麻最令人兴奋的一点是,它有机会成为世界上成本最低的大麻生产商之一。这不一定是公司用来种植大麻的技术,更重要的是奥罗拉的业务规模之大,可以让规模经济真正发挥作用。第四季度可能是我们第一次真正看到大型种植者如何压低生产成本。 当然,生产成本是问题的一个方面。我们还想看看每克干大麻的价格以及大麻提取物的价格有多高。鉴于加拿大各地持续的供应短缺,我预计从第三季度开始,价格将保持相当好的势头。 把这些因素综合起来,我们将得到第一个不引人注意的数字:毛利率。奥罗拉的毛利率在最近几个季度一直高于其中端同行,但我仍然不相信运营盈利能力迫在眉睫。不过,如果第三季度毛利率较第三季度(第三季度毛利率为55%)提高几个百分点,将大大有助于向华尔街证实,奥罗拉在2021财年(如果不是2020年)的盈利道路上。 图片来源:盖蒂图片社。 投资者应该密切关注的下一个数字是国际销售额,在第三季度,国际销售额相当低,为400万加元——尽管这比第二季度增加了40%。 国际销售几乎是未来的奥罗拉大麻。奥罗拉在世界范围内的种植、出口或研究领域比其他任何大麻生产商都多(25个)。如果干大麻产量超过加拿大市场,这些海外市场将特别重要。拥有多达24个外部销售渠道,应该有助于确保极光的毛利率不会因为国内供过于求而暴跌。 此外,该公司有一个非常明确的目标,专注于医疗方面的行业。尽管医用大麻患者人数远小于休闲大麻,但利润率和定价权却大大提高。医疗患者倾向于更频繁地使用大麻,定期购买,并且更愿意购买高利润率的衍生产品。除乌拉圭和加拿大外,世界上其他大约40个大麻合法化的国家在某种程度上都是出于医疗目的。 虽然我预计国际收入不会占到销售额的很大一部分,但看到奥罗拉的收入远远超过第三财季注册的400万加元,将是一件好事。 图片来源:盖蒂图片社。 你会想知道的最后一个数字是,奥罗拉大麻肯定不会在其经营业绩或电话会议中突出显示,该公司的商誉不断膨胀,截至3月底,该公司的商誉约为31.8亿美元。这31.8亿加元占Aurora总资产的57%。 商誉只是一家公司为另一家公司支付的高于有形资产的溢价。在进行收购时,一定数额的溢价是完全正常的,因为这是一个悬而未决的胡萝卜,可以诱使董事会批准被更大的同行收购。在理想的情况下,采购公司会将专利货币化,并扩大现有资产,以完全收回为另一项业务支付的溢价。不幸的是,事情并不总是理想的。 以奥罗拉大麻公司为例,过去三年里,该公司进行了十多次收购,几乎所有这些收购都为其迅速增长的商誉做出了贡献。当然,没有比其26.4亿加元的全部股票收购Medreleaf更严重的罪魁祸首了,其中20亿加元被列为商誉。在我个人看来,奥罗拉要收回31.8亿加元的商誉几乎是不可能的。相反,我发现Aurora很可能会承认,它为一些交易支付了过高的价格,并最终减记了一部分商誉。 对于第四财季,投资者应密切关注商誉是否大幅上升,以及商誉占总资产的比例是否增长。在我看来,一个积极的结果是,商誉保持相对平稳,其价值占总资产的百分比下降到55%以下。 既然你知道该注意些什么,我们就等着奥罗拉大麻在星期三的铃响后发货。