Pot stocks report next week — and you can learn more than you think

Four of Canada’s largest pot companies report earnings next week and while it’s too early for any post-legalization numbers, executive commentary should begin to divide the winners from the losers.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. will report pre-market Monday, followed by Cronos Group Inc. on Tuesday morning, Tilray Inc. post-market Tuesday and Canopy Growth Corp. on Wednesday morning. It will be the first chance for many analysts and investors to hear from executives since Canada legalized recreational cannabis use on Oct. 17, a move that was immediately followed by supply shortages across the country.

Any commentary on post-legalization sales and the supply bottleneck will be closely parsed by the investment community, but the selling, general and administrative expense line, or SG&A, could be more revealing, said Martin Landry, an analyst at GMP Securities.

“That’s what’s going to tell us the break-even level needed to reach profitability,” Landry said. “Some licensed producers have very heavy SG&A structures at this point that will impair their profitability levels and others are very lean.”

Average selling price, cost of production and run-rate production levels will be other key metrics to watch, said Bruce Campbell, founder of StoneCastle Investment Management Inc. and chief investment officer at Cannabis Growth Opportunity Corp., a publicly traded investment company.

“Then we can start to figure out, when they pull off their next harvest, how much money is that going to mean in the till if it goes to the provinces and is immediately sold?” he said.

Campbell has been repositioning his portfolio ahead of earnings, buying U.S.-focused stocks like Curaleaf Holdings Inc., 1933 Industries Inc., Cannex Capital Holdings Inc. and C21 Investments Inc. while trimming his exposure to Canadian licensed producers.

Pot stocks got a boost earlier this week from U.S. midterm election wins and the resignation of anti-marijuana Attorney

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