Investors bludgeoned Tilray Inc. stock Friday, sending shares of the Canadian cannabis producer down more than 30% after the company offered investors shares at less than a third of the price paid in its initial public offering.
Tilray /zigman2/quotes/209129655/composite TLRY +2.84% said Friday that it had priced a $90.4 million stock offering at $4.76 a share. Tilray went public at $17 a share in 2018, months ahead of Canada legalization recreational cannabis use. The company’s shares briefly ballooned, touching $300 in intraday trading in September 2018.
Tilray’s fresh infusion of cash arrived a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.12% and the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.02% suffered their biggest single-day losses since the October 1987 crash. Shares in the cannabis company have fallen 94% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index has dropped 10.2%. Cannabis companies have struggled after a slower-than-expected rollout of legal weed in Canada that has allowed the black market to flourish.
“Given unprecedented stock market conditions amidst concern over coronavirus, today’s financing has strengthened Tilray’s balance sheet and de-risked the company’s pathway to being [earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization] positive by [the fourth quarter of] 2020,” the company said in an emailed statement to MarketWatch.
In a note to clients Friday, MKM Partners analyst Bill Kirk wrote that Tilray’s raise suggests fellow cannabis producers Hexo Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206508254/composite HEXO -2.46% /zigman2/quotes/200008967/delayed CA:HEXO -5.61% and Aurora Cannabis Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB +5.01% /zigman2/quotes/203734337/delayed CA:ACB +4.22% face a tough market amid a dire need for cash. Kirk wrote that Aurora and Hexo both have near-term financing requirements and that Tilray’s capital raise suggests that the two weed companies will also face “substantially dilutive terms at below current pricing levels.”
That is actually the best case scenario, Kirk wrote, as it’s possible Hexo and Aurora won’t be able to access additional capital at all. Hexo is set to run out of money by the end of April and Aurora will deplete its coffers by the end of June, Kirk wrote.
According to data from Viridian Capital Advisors, a cannabis-focused investment bank, capital raises have remained slow in the sector for a third straight week that ended March 6. Last week, the bank tracked five raises that totaled $8 million versus 15 raises that brought in $2.1 billion a year ago, though last year’s data were boosted by Altria Group Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/208895754/composite MO -0.07% C$2.4 billion ($1.74 billion) investment in Cronos Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202715342/delayed CA:CRON -1.19% /zigman2/quotes/206842762/composite CRON -1.92%
Kirk dropped his Tilray price target to $5 from $13, Hexo to $C1 from C$1.50 and Aurora to C$1 from C$1.75.
Tilray’s deal included an attached warrant with an exercise price of $5.95 a share that investors can sell beginning six months after it is issued. The whole warrants have a five-year expiry. The company said it expects the deal to close March 17 and Canaccord Genuity is the sole book-running agent on the issue. Tilray said it planned to use the cash for general corporate purposes.