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May 19, 2020, 6:38 a.m. EDT

Aurora Cannabis shares skyrocket on hopes worst is behind Canadian weed company

‘We think ACB can become a solid cash-flow generator simply from the Canadian operations,’ Ladenburg Thalmann analyst says

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By Max A. Cherney


iStock/Getty Images
Aurora stock was traded at its second-highest-ever volume in Monday’s regular session.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. stock rampaged Monday, with U.S.-traded shares surging nearly 53% in a continued response to better-than-expected earnings last week.

Shares of Aurora closed up $5.90 to $17.10.

Aurora has made strides in its reorganization plan announced in February, according to Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Glenn Mattson.

“We think ACB can become a solid cash-flow generator simply from the Canadian operations and, with a strong market position in Canada, the company can create significant value from here based on this one market,” Mattson wrote in a note to clients. “We do think that it will look to expand into the U.S. but not until federal legality is more clear.”

Aurora’s stock gained almost 70% rise Friday on volume that was more than 1,000% of its average.

The Alberta-based weed producer /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB -2.20%   /zigman2/quotes/203734337/delayed CA:ACB -2.25%  reported earnings Thursday, as it topped revenue expectations but continued to report deep losses, as its cheap, lower-margin weed brand appeared to be a hit across Canada. On Monday, 95.5 million shares changed hands, which is the second-highest volume ever for the company.

Aurora stock hit a record Friday, with more than 102 million shares changing hands, according to FactSet. Aurora has averaged volume of less than 3 million shares in the past 30 and 90 days. Prior to Friday, Aurora’s record trading volume was 12.5 million, ahead of the results Thursday. Prior to last week, Aurora’s stock had topped volume of 10 million three times in its history.

Aurora Cannabis on CEO search during a pandemic: drone tours, no handshakes

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, where Aurora has traded much longer, the stock was not traded Monday because the exchange was closed for Victoria Day. There, it hit a volume record Friday of 18 million, after previously never topping 10 million in a single day.

Despite Monday’s gains, Aurora stock has still lost over 30% of its value this year, amid a tumultuous market as the coronavirus pandemic affected the world’s economy.

In the research note, Mattson said that the company is much closer to dealing with its solvency issues and that its turnaround plan is showing progress. Mattson has a buy on the name with an $18 price target.

South Korea’s sovereign-wealth fund disclosed Monday that it had acquired a chunk of Aurora stock. Switzerland’s central bank also recently boosted its Aurora holdings.

Elsewhere in the cannabis sector, Hexo Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206508254/composite HEXO +0.96%  shares rose nearly 50%, as the Cannabis ETF /zigman2/quotes/213173823/composite THCX -0.60%  rose 8.6%. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.40%  rose 3.3%.

See also: Aurora Cannabis stock enjoys best and busiest day ever after pot sales grow

/zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 9.80
-0.22 -2.20%
Volume: 2.79M
Aug. 12, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
$94,401
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/zigman2/quotes/203734337/delayed
CA : Canada: Toronto
$ 13.05
-0.30 -2.25%
Volume: 1.43M
Aug. 12, 2020 4:15p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$123,163
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206508254/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 0.71
+0.0068 +0.96%
Volume: 7.79M
Aug. 12, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$291.86 million
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/213173823/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 9.96
-0.06 -0.60%
Volume: 37,493
Aug. 12, 2020 4:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,380.35
+46.66 +1.40%
Volume: 2.25B
Aug. 12, 2020 5:10p
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Max A. Cherney is a MarketWatch reporter based in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter @chernandburn.

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