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Tilray's Good News Is Simply Not Good Enough

Published 10/12/2021, 06:17 AM
Updated 09/02/2020, 02:05 AM

Shares of Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) dropped almost 5% last Friday to close the week at $10.49, which is a far distance from its most recent high in February of just over $29. They slipped some more yesterday, closing at $10.16

TLRY Weekly Chart

The latest downward pressure comes in the wake of the cannabis producer’s quarterly earnings report unveiled last Thursday that saw its sales in the three-month period that ended Aug. 31 jump a respectable 38%.

Despite the positive numbers reported, the pressure on the company’s share price was a reflection of the results not meeting expectations. Call it a case of good, not being good enough.

Tilray posted first quarter revenues of $168 million, a jump of 43% from the same period in the previous year. This increase, in large part, was driven by its three main sectors—cannabis sales of $70 million, net alcoholic beverage revenue of $15 million, and what the company terms its wellness revenue of $15 million, which stems from its Manitoba Harvest sales.

But that was not the only good news. According to its financial report, Tilray maintained its ranking as having the biggest slice of the Canadian market, which includes both medical and recreational offerings.

It is also the top company in the German medical cannabis market.

But the bottom line was a net loss for the quarter of $34.6 million, a much larger deficit compared with the net loss of $21.7 million in the same period the year before. Adjusted EBITDA was pegged at $12.7 million for the quarter.

Given the company’s recent merger with Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA), cost savings synergies are having an impact. The actual cost savings for the quarter were listed at $20 million, and they are reportedly on track to hit $80 million overall, according to the statement released last week.

Following the release of the earnings report, Tilray CEO Irwin Simon gave an interview with BNN Bloomberg. His comments about the layout of the cannabis sector attracted attention. They provided a succinct look at what is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing the big players in the cannabis market.

Although Tilray has confirmed its spot as the leading player in the Canadian cannabis market, and provided the figures to support the claim, Simon said the company’s position is being challenged by what he described as “ankle biters,” small producers that are nibbling away at its market share.

As BNN Bloomberg reported:

"If you look at us, Hexo (NASDAQ:HEXO), Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) and Aurora (NASDAQ:ACB), all together we have 50 per cent share [of the market]," Simon said. "Underneath that, you have 450 licensed producers that are all ankle biters that are taking a little bit of share away. That's what we have to contend with and make sure we're selling our products and educating budtenders."

The remarks probably did not make him any friends, but they reflect a situation on the ground that will continue to be a huge challenge—and that is brand recognition and marketing. With so many marketing products, it is difficult for consumers to know which way to turn and allow any producer to gain real traction.

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