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Pyxus International swings to loss in fiscal 2Q as tobacco market takes a hit

The North American tobacco market took a hit from new and increased foreign tariffs on US tobacco and adverse weather conditions
Pyxus also saw a slower roll-out of its industrial hemp business due partly to weather

Pyxus International Inc (NYSE:PYX) swung to a loss in its second fiscal quarter as the U.S. tobacco market took a hit from foreign tariffs, poor weather conditions and the strength of the US dollar.

In its latest quarter ended September 30, the Morrisville, North Carolina agriculture company reported a net loss of $54.6 million, or $6.04 per share, compared with a gain in the year-ago quarter of $1.0 million, or $0.11 per share.

Sales and other operating revenues also fell 11.7% in the latest quarter to $394.9 million compared with the year-ago quarter due to lower prices and volumes, stemming from the timing of shipments and a larger crop last year in South America.

In response to the results, investors sent Pyxus shares down 24% to $19.26 in Thursday's morning trading session.

“The second fiscal quarter typically is a seasonally lower quarter, and the second quarter this year overall was impacted by decreased volumes due to shipment timing, the larger crop in South America last year and a stronger US dollar in certain markets,” said Pieter Sikkel, Pyxus’s CEO, in a statement.

“The North American tobacco market, in particular, was impacted by new and increased foreign tariffs on US tobacco, adverse weather conditions and the strength of the US dollar,” he added.

Due to foreign tariffs and Hurricane Florence, Pyxus forecasts a “negative impact” to operating income for the full fiscal year of about $25 million related to the North American tobacco business and the new Argentina export tax, when compared to the prior year.

READ: Andrew Left’s Citron Research sets $65 price target for Pyxus International stock, says it's 'a perfect hedge'

Pyxus also saw a slower roll-out of its industrial hemp business due to weather and the impact of completing construction of its new facility in Eastern North Carolina. The impact of Hurricane Florence across North Carolina caused construction delays at its hemp manufacturing plant but had little impact on the current hemp crop.

Due to a number of factors, Pyxus is opting to consolidate all of its US processing operations to its facility in Wilson, North Carolina, starting next year.

Pyxus has an interest in the Canadian cannabis market through its indirect Canadian subsidiary FIGR.

FIGR East, which is licensed under the name Canada’s Island Garden, is one of only 29 firms to receive an oil production and sales license from Health Canada.

Formerly known as Alliance One International, Pyxus began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under its ticker symbol PYX as of September, joining the ranks of the few other US-listed cannabis companies.

The North Carolina company offers products in the leaf tobacco, e-Liquids, industrial hemp and legal cannabis industries.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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