It has been another dramatic week on the global markets, with the Pound Sterling falling to a 2022-low and the NASDAQ registering its biggest one-day decline since June 2020 on continued fears of runaway inflation.
While NASDAQ listed Jazz Pharmaceuticals managed to weather the storm thanks to a solid Q1 financial update, it was the Aquis Exchange which saw some of the most dramatic developments this week.
Ananda Developments continued its upward trajectory following last week’s hiring spree, while CBD operators Love Hemp and Yooma Wellness were both forced to suspend trading on the platform altogether.
On Tuesday May 3, Love Hemp announced to investors that its shares had been suspended from trading on the Aquis Exchange.
The CBD brand told investors that it had been ‘temporarily suspended’ on the exchange because its advisors, Peterhouse Capital Limited, decided to split from the company.
While Love Hemp said it expects to announce new advisors ‘shortly’, it also announced that an unnamed investor had ‘failed to make payment’ of £1.2m in Ordinary Shares.
The investor is understood to have subscribed the money for 120,000,000 shares at a price of 1p per share as part of the company’s fundraise on February 8 2022.
This represents more than half of the £2m it secured in February during the raise, which saw Peterhouse Capital and H&P Advisory Limited act as brokers.
It’s not yet clear why Peterhouse Capital ‘resigned as advisors’ to the company, or whether their departure was related in any way to the failed payment.
BusinessCann has contacted Love Hemp for comment.
It added that it was now looking for the most ‘cost effective’ way to affect this cancellation of shares, and assured investors the funding shortfall had ‘not impacted the operations of the company’.
The company, which is dual listed on Aquis and the US OTCQB market, saw its stock price on the latter drop 30% following the news.
Love Hemp is also currently working on an uplisting to the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) main market, a process for which an advisor will be particularly important.
On the very same day, Love Hemp’s Aquis stablemate Yooma Wellness also saw its stock suspended after announcing ‘unexpected delays to its audit’.
The Canadian company, which ‘develops and markets’ a portfolio of brands including the UK’s Vitality CBD, said that due to these delays it has been unable to file its ‘Annual Filings’ by its May 2 2022 deadline.
This includes its annual audited financial statements for the year to December 31 2021, management’s discussion and analysis of the figures, and the CEO and CFO certifications of the filings.
As a result, it said it expected the Ontario Securities Commission to issue a ‘failure-to-file cease trade order’ (CTO).
While its shares have been suspended on Aquis at the time of writing, they are still actively trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange according to its website, dropping 22% on the news.
Yooma said it expects to complete its annual filings before May 24 2022, at which time anticipates the CTO will be lifted and shares can once again begin trading.
The company confirmed that the delay was not due to ‘insolvency proceedings’, but rather the complexities of collating the accounts of the six ‘significant acquisitions’ it made throughout the year in five different countries.
Despite this, it cautioned that there could be ‘no assurance’ it will be able to remedy its filing default and have any CTO lifted ‘in a timely manner or at all’.
In the first three months of 2022, it reported revenues of $813.7m, up a third from the same period last year, when it made $607.6m.
Overall the Irish pharmaceutical giant missed estimated earnings per share of $3.83 by 2.61%, reporting an EPS of $3.73. In Q4 2021 Jazz Pharma beat its estimated earnings by $0.58 leading to a double-digit jump in shares.
Since the announcement, the company’s NASDAQ-listed stock has edged up just over 2%, helping bring its share price up by over 25% since the start of the year.
Sales of its flagship CBD drug Epidiolex, one of only two cannabis-based medicines to be prescribed on the NHS, hit $157.9m in the three months ended March 31 2022.
While this represented a ‘pro-forma’ rise of 6% year-on-year, given that Jazz purchased GW Pharma after Q1 last year, it represented a near 20% drop on Q4.
It attributed this drop to strong comparables, after seeing an $18m windfall in Q4 2021 ‘due to a temporary increase in specialty pharmacy inventory trading levels’.
It added that the drug, now ‘commercially available and fully reimbursed’ in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, was also launched in Ireland and Norway during the quarter, and is expected to launch in France later this year.
Meanwhile Sativex, also produced by GW Pharma and prescribed on the NHS, saw sales rise 13.4% to $4.8m.