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Aurora Cannabis sees first-quarter revenue below estimates, shares fall

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(Reuters) - Canadian pot producer Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB.TOACB.N on Tuesday forecast first-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates, sending its U.S-listed shares tumbling 15%.

The coronavirus outbreak has made it harder for the cash-strapped cannabis industry to get investor dollars and has forced companies to shut their stores.

To survive the challenging times, Aurora has laid off hundreds of employees this year, shut five facilities and amended its loan agreements.

However, the pot producer on Tuesday reiterated its expectation to post an adjusted profit for the first time in the second quarter, as it attempts to turn its fortunes around.

For most weed producers in Canada, which legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018, profits have proven to be elusive due to fewer-than-expected retail stores, cheaper rates on the black market and slow overseas growth.

Aurora forecast first-quarter cannabis net revenue to be between C$60 million ($45.11 million) and C$64 million, below estimates of C$79.62 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company also posted fourth-quarter revenue of C$72.11 million, compared with analysts’ estimates of C$72.08 million.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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