Cannabis Watch: Tilray says coronavirus has not materially impacted its ability to sell marijuana

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The COVID-19 pandemic has not materially hurt cannabis producer Tilray Inc.’s ability to sell pot to medical patients and recreational customers, the company said late Monday as it reported a wider-than-expected net loss.

Shares of Tilray TLRY, +3.85% fell 1.9% in the extended session after closing up 3.9% to close at $8.08 in Monday trading. The stock has lost just over half its value this year, as the Cannabis ETF THCX, -0.34% has fallen 31%.

The British Columbia-based cannabis company reported a first-quarter net loss of $184.1 million, which amounts to $1.73 a share, compared with a loss of $29.4 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago. The company’s larger-than-expected losses were a result of non-cash changes in the value of its warrants, a $29.8 million asset impairment charge and $28.1 million in foreign currency-related expenses because of the relative weakness of the Canadian dollar.

The company said layoffs resulted in an additional $1.9 million in severance costs.

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Tilray’s revenue rose 126% to 52.1 million, from $7.9 million a year ago, and the company said that it paid $5 million in excise duties, which many consumer packaged-goods companies remove from gross revenue. Tilray’s revenue grew 11% compared with the fourth quarter.

The company sold $5.8 million with of medical weed abroad. In Canada, Tilray sold $20.9 million of recreational cannabis and $4.1 million worth of medical pot. Manitoba Harvest, its hemp foods unit, reported sales of $21.3 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a loss of 44 cents a share on sales of $49.4 million.

In a statement, Chief Executive Brendan Kennedy said that the company predicted it would flip to a profit using a non-standard measure of profitability. He also said that the company took several steps to make its business more efficient, which should save it $40 million a year, though the measures were not “fully reflected” in the quarter’s results.

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Tilray said the average cannabis net selling price per gram decreased to $5.28 from $5.60 a year ago; excluding excise taxes, the price was $3.49 a gram.

To date, Tilray said that it had not experienced any material coronavirus-related impacts related to its medical cannabis sales, recreational pot sales in Canada or its Manitoba Harvest hemp products. In Canada, cannabis companies have been largely allowed to continue operations, though additional safety measures are necessary.

In March, Tilray sold $90.4 million worth of stock at $4.76 a share, less than a third of what it listed the stock for when it went public. Tilray listed on the Nasdaq at $17 a share in 2018, months ahead of Canadian legalization of recreational pot use and at one point its shares briefly touched $300 in intraday trading. Tilray raised the money in March as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.44% and S&P 500 SPX, +0.01% suffered their largest single-day losses since the October 1987 crash.

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