Friday morning brought a pause to Wall Street, resting after its most recent surge to record-high levels. Investors are still debating whether the coronavirus outbreak will have a dramatic impact on the global economy, with rising death tolls but also signs of hope that an effective treatment might come in the not-too-distant future. As of 10:30 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 9 points to 29,414. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was up 2 points to 3,376, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) had gained ground, picking up 12 points to 9,724.
The cannabis industry has been under pressure for a long time, but industry leader Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) saw some encouraging signs that lit a fire under its stock price. Meanwhile, online travel specialist Expedia Group (NASDAQ:EXPE) came out with good news of its own that could get investors less concerned about the headwinds facing the travel industry right now.
A leap forward for Canopy
Shares of Canopy Growth jumped 18% after the Canadian cannabis company reported its fiscal third-quarter results. After a long period of pessimism about marijuana stocks, the news from Canopy restored some confidence in the industry’s future.
Canopy’s numbers showed the efforts that the company has made on multiple fronts to improve its financial performance. Net revenue climbed 13% from its level three months earlier, even accounting for the one-time impact of restructuring charges that Canopy took in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, cost discipline was evident, as operating expenses fell 14% on cuts in both overhead expenses and stock-based compensation.
In the Canadian marijuana market, Canopy has emerged as an industry leader. On the recreational side, the company boasted industry-leading market share of 22%. Canopy also continues to see more customers flood in on the medical marijuana front. More broadly, the cannabis company is enjoying strong demand for products across its price and quality spectrum, in both premium offerings and its more value-priced dried flower and prerolled joint products.
Coming after the bad news that Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) revealed earlier this week, Canopy’s positive results were a welcome surprise. The stock has a lot further to go before it can recover all of its recent losses, but today’s move is a good start.
Expedia moves forward
Shares of Expedia Group were higher by 10% in the wake of the release of the online travel provider’s fourth-quarter financial report. The company’s gone through considerable turmoil lately, but investors seem encouraged by the progress that Expedia’s made recently.
Expedia’s quarterly results were mixed, with an 8% rise in revenue counterbalancing a 4% drop in adjusted net income. Growth in room-nights for accommodations came in at 11%. However, the quarterly figures were enough to give Expedia gains on both the top and bottom lines for the full 2019 year.
Now Expedia faces two challenges. Chairman Barry Diller, who took over executive responsibilities after the company’s previous CEO and CFO left, is looking to get a management team in place that will share the board of directors’ strategic vision for Expedia. At the same time, the Covid-19 outbreak has caused enormous uncertainty throughout the travel industry.
Yet neither of those challenges stopped Expedia from predicting double-digit percentage gains in earnings for 2020, stemming from further cost-cutting efforts and restructuring. That has shareholders excited about Expedia’s prospects even in the face of near-term headwinds.