2019 was a very tough year for Aurora Cannabis. The stock is trading just above $2 per share, which is down more than 60% year-to-date.
Just as many Aurora Cannabis investors thought the worst was behind them, the company released some impactful news over this past weekend.
Late Saturday night Aurora Cannabis announces that Cam Battley, the Chief Corporate Officer, would step down from his role to join the board at Medreleaf in Australia. This came as a big surprise for many of us as Cam Battley was considered to be the face of Aurora Cannabis, and the hyped-up speaker when it came to quarterly earnings. Every quarter investors would anxiously wait for Cam Battley to get on the microphone and update us on what the company has been up to.
Before going public with the news, an email leaked on twitter from CEO Terry Booth that Cam Battley was leaving the team. In a press release Terry stated “Our roots run deep, and Cam has been an integral part of the development, growth, and expansion of Aurora. We are grateful for Cam’s leadership and passion over his many years with Aurora. I am sure Cam will be successful as he moves on to tackle Australia.”
Cam Battley was a fantastic speaker and a very thorough professional but recently there were reasons to be cautious about the direction he was guiding the company. Aurora Cannabis’s sales in Germany were recently halted due to the fact that the company failed to obtain a permit that should have been known and researched. Whether this is completely Cam’s fault or not, his departure was not long after this news was released. Its widely known that this little mistake should cost Aurora Cannabis over $2 Million USD worth of cannabis sales in Germany, and potentially a tarnished reputation.
As the cannabis market sank in the second half of 2019, Cam Battley being the face and speaker for Aurora Cannabis, was most likely under tremendous pressure from shareholders to deliver results, and we are sure it was not an easy role to fill. Moving forward into 2020 we do see positive catalysts for the industry but what really matters the most to us right now is focusing on what’s most important.
From the beginning, Aurora Cannabis has been one of the most ambitious companies in the entire sector. They still have a presence in 25 countries across the globe, but in order to sustain their momentum, the company will have to focus on making money right now and then expanding. Aurora Cannabis needs to fill Cam Battley’s role with someone who can under promise and over deliver results while being realistic with shareholders’ expectations.
The worst may not be over for Aurora Cannabis but we do feel that this change could be the start of something very good for the company. With ongoing cash problems, the company needs to come up with a creative way to finance 2020 along with becoming more profitable and narrowing its losses. When Aurora Cannabis is at its weakest this creates an environment of uncertainty that scares many retail investors away. During these times we also see the biggest opportunity for explosive gains which is why we remain extremely cautious but optimistic going into 2020. Despite its size, Aurora Cannabis has become a much riskier play over the past few months but in the long run, investors buying now could be handsomely rewarded.
(Disclosure: The author owns shares of Aurora Cannabis)
ACB shares rose $0.01 (+0.50%) in after-hours trading Monday. Year-to-date, ACB has declined -59.48%, versus a 30.32% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Aaron Missere
Aaron is an experienced investor who is also the CEO of Departures Capital. His primary focus is on the cannabis industry. He also hosts a weekly show on YouTube about marijuana stocks. Learn more about Aaron’s background, along with links to his most recent articles. More…
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