Aurora Cannabis Stock: Love It or Leave It?

Canadian marijuana company Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) had a dreadful 2019; its stock lost 56% of its value over the year, compared with a 36% decline in the industry benchmark Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF. External headwinds in Canada, along with Aurora’s own haphazard acquisitions, dragged down revenue and made profit challenging, while expenses kept piling up. All these factors led to its decline, and hopes of the company recovering anytime soon were minimal.

Hence, its third-quarter results at the end of March came as a pleasant surprise. The company reported a surge in revenue — to be precise, a year-over-year jump of 35% to 75.5 million Canadian dollars. Aurora gave a sneak peek into its fourth-quarter results on Sept. 8 when it discussed some impairment charges and a decline in revenue. But investors hoped to get some good news from the actual results, and the stock was up 16% in anticipation on Sept. 22. When the company released results the same day after market close, though, the picture wasn’t rosy. Let’s see whether there was anything to like in Aurora’s Q4 results. 

Cannabis plant growing outdoors.

Image source: Getty Images.

Revenue results were worrisome

As management stated in the preliminary results, net revenue fell within the estimated range, hitting CA$72.1 million, but declined year-over-year from CA$94.6 million. Sequentially, revenue also dropped 5% from the third quarter of 2020.

The company saw a 9% decline in consumer cannabis revenue from the prior quarter, to CA$35.3 million. However, medical cannabis revenue jumped 4% sequentially to CA$32.2 million, thanks to the company’s Canadian medical business and revenue from Europe.

Though Aurora didn’t discuss losses in the preliminary results, investors weren’t surprised to see a Q4 net loss of CA$3.3 billion from continuing operations. In the year-ago quarter, the marijuana company recorded a net loss of just

Aurora Labs ramps ‘self-healing’ software with $23M from LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho

The automotive market is grappling with increasingly complex software systems, and in turn greater risks of glitches that can cause costly and unsafe disruptions and damage an automaker’s credibility.

Just look at today’s new cars, trucks and SUVs compared to their counterparts a decade ago. New vehicles coming off assembly lines today contain tens of millions of lines of code, a statistic that continues to rise as automakers invest more in software.

This upward trend has created risks for automakers; it’s also opened up opportunity for burgeoning startups like Aurora Labs, which developed a platform that can spot problems with software in cars and fix it on the fly. The company is now preparing to ramp up operations, even beyond automotive, as software takes a central role in shared mobility, cities and homes.

Aurora Labs developed a platform designed to detect and predict problems and then fix any issues in real-time. The platform also enables automakers to update software in vehicles wirelessly — a feature often referred to as over-the-air software updates that was popularized by Tesla. The ability to conduct OTAs allows automakers to make changes quickly and without requiring owners to visit a dealership for service.

Earlier this month, the Tel Aviv-based startup raised $23 million in a Series B round jointly led by LG Group’s investment arm LG Technology Ventures and Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies. Porsche SE, majority owner of the VW group, Toyota Tsusho, a member of Toyota Group and the venture arm of global safety certification company UL also participated. Porsche SE invested $2.5 million and Toyota Tsusho put $1.5 million into Aurora Labs, according to the companies.

The funds will be used to double the size of Aurora Labs’ 30-person team to support going into series production with two of

Aurora, Illinois CIO Makes Entire City An Innovation District As Part Of Proposed $300 Million Project

Michael Pegues, a relative newcomer to government, is the CIO of the second largest city in Illinois. Despite only being in the job for three years and having no background in local government, he has developed a passion for city work and has become an urbantech champion.

What makes Pegues’ case so interesting is that he has taken a much bolder approach to encouraging innovation than many other city CIOs. In my experience, cities often set up limited innovation zones where they experiment with technologies before rolling them out more widely. Pegues has eschewed this intermediate step and turned his city into one giant innovation sandbox through his 605 Innovation District project (605 being the first three digits of the five zip codes in Aurora).

It’s a bold move—and one that isn’t without risks. But the initiative shows how a forward-thinking CIO willing to embrace and successfully manage those risks can create a powerful dynamic for change.

A new model for urbanization

Innovation districts have emerged over the past two decades and are fast becoming a distinctive feature of smart cities. Each district acts as a well-defined, walkable area in a city where public and private sector participants work to attract economic opportunity and development with the general aim of revitalizing an urban location.

These districts are typically populated by research-oriented institutions, high-growth firms, and tech and creative start-ups. They include, or are surrounded by, a variety of amenities as well as residential and commercial properties.

The first innovation district was launched in 2000 in Barcelona, Spain. Today, there are thought to be over 100 around the world, including districts in Berlin, Cambridge, London, Medellín, Montreal, Seoul, Stockholm and Toronto.

Smart Aurora

Aurora, which