Aphria earns $12.9M Q3 profit
Shares of licensed medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc. rose nearly nine per cent on Monday on better than expected quarterly results and after news of a changing political tone on cannabis south of the border.
Aphria reported a $12.9-million profit in its latest quarter, boosted by the sale of some of its shares in U.S. company Liberty Health Sciences.
The Leamington, Ont.-based producer’s stock rose as much as 8.95 per cent to $12.42 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in late morning trading on Monday.
Aphria’s chief executive Vic Neufeld said Monday the company is “very excited” about political developments south of the border, where cannabis is illegal under U.S. federal law, including President Donald Trump’s commitment last week to support congressional efforts to protect states that have legalized cannabis.
Neufeld said Liberty Health Sciences, which has interests in states where pot is legal and in which Aphria has a 28 per cent stake, has been “given a stamp of validation by key political leaders.”
“We are very excited that this has happened,” he told analysts discussing its latest quarterly results. “We were very confident it would .... Liberty was just ahead of the curve.”
Aphria moved to reduce its stake in Liberty earlier this year after Canada’s biggest exchange operator warned in October that U.S. federal law takes precedence over state laws, and cannabis firms with cross-border activities may face delisting. In January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that suggested that the federal government would not intervene in states where cannabis is legal, and said he was leaving it to federal prosecutors in those states to decide how aggressively to enforce federal law.