Marijuana grower Tilray rallies after sales more than double

Key Points
  • Canadian cannabis producer Tilray reported fourth-quarter revenue of $15.5 million.
  • Results were buoyed 2018 sales to $43.1 million, up 110 percent from last year.
  • Tilray stock rallied following the top-line beat.
We expect cannabis global growth to continue, Tilray CEO says

Shares of Tilray jumped after the company reported that its cannabis sales more than doubled over the last year.

Tilray on Monday reported fourth-quarter revenue of $15.5 million, buoyed 2018 sales to $43.1 million — up 110 percent from last year. The surge was driven by bulk sales, the first months of the legal adult-use market in Canada and accelerated wholesale exports, according to its latest financial update. Analysts had expected fourth-quarter sales of $14.1 million.

In premarket trading Tuesday, the British Columbia-based company's stock was up nearly 3 percent.

"Our team made significant progress on our long-term initiatives including increasing production capacity, expanding and strengthening strategic partnerships, and acquiring complementary businesses to accelerate our future growth and leadership position in medical and adult-use cannabis," Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said of the company's financial report.

Net loss for the quarter was $31 million, or 33 cents per share, compared to $3 million, or 4 cents per share, for the prior-year period. The company also said that the number of kilograms of cannabis and derivative products increased nearly three-fold to 2,053 from 694 kilograms compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.

Kilograms sold in 2018 increase over two-fold to 6,478 from 3,024 in the prior year.

The most recent quarter was busy for Tilray, which expanded strategic partnerships with a number of global partners.

First, it expanded its alliance with Sandoz, a division of Swiss drugmaker Novartis, in an effort to increase access to medical cannabis to patients around the world. Tilray said it plans to work with Novartis' generic drug business and supply non-smokable and non-combustible medical cannabis products where legal.

The Canadian company also disclosed a research and development partnership with Budweiser-parent AB InBev focused on non-alcohol THC and CBD beverages. Each company intends to invest up to $50 million, for a total of up to $100 million, Tilray said.