By Jeremy C. Owens
Aurora Cannabis Inc. plans to sell more shares after big gains in recent days, sending the stock price plunging more than 15% in late trading Tuesday.
Aurora /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB -2.77% /zigman2/quotes/203734337/delayed CA:ACB -1.39% said it expects to charge $7.50 for a share in the company as well as a warrant that will allow the buyer to purchase another share for $9 within 40 months of the close. The company expects to raise $125 million in the offering, according to its announcement . After declining more than 25% in Tuesday trading, Aurora closed at $8.30 a share, for a market capitalization of roughly $1.37 billion; in after-hours trading following the announcement, shares fell to around $7.
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The latest plans for a stock offering and violent price movement is just another bend in the track for Aurora’s roller-coaster ride on the public markets in the past two years. The company jumped to valuations of more than $10 billion amid the 2018 legalization of marijuana in Canada and expectations of a gigantic market for marijuana, but disappointing performance through 2019 sent shares plunging until Aurora was forced to enact a 12-to-1 reverse stock split to avoid having its stock delisted.
Shares received a boost starting last week, after four U.S. states decriminalized cannabis and Joe Biden appeared to win the presidency, which proponents of legal pot as well as cannabis investors took as good news for federal legalization in the U.S. Cannabis stocks roared higher in the days after results looked solid, and Aurora prices more than doubled.
The company revealed why its shares had struggled earlier this week, however. In an earnings report Monday morning, Aurora revealed losses of more than C$100 million in its fiscal first quarter, after a net loss of more than C$3 billion in its previous fiscal year , and detailed a multimillion-dollar payoff to UFC to end a CBD partnership with the ultimate-fighting league.
For more: As pot stocks boom on hopes for U.S. legalization, Canadian cannabis companies struggle for growth
Aurora shares still gained Monday, but pulled back sharply Tuesday after analysts had their say on the earnings report.
“Aurora’s share price as of the time of writing is running up 135% since end of day on Wednesday. Some may look at this performance, which also included gains of over 20% at one point intraday today, and assume a much improved fundamental outlook and strong quarterly numbers,” Jeffries analyst Owen Bennett wrote in a note Tuesday morning . “This is not the case, with Q1, for us, not really standing out as anything special or overly encouraging.”
Aurora’s prospectus suggests it is seeking to sell roughly 16.67 million fresh shares, as well as warrants for the same amount, into a float that has been reduced to roughly 121.5 million shares by the reverse split. If all the warrants were exercised, the float would increase by more than 27%.