Aphria bottom line boosted by sale of Liberty Health Sciences shares


Entitled medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc. reported a $12.9-million profit in its latest district, boosted by the sale of some of its shares in U.S. company Liberty Health Proficiencies.

Shares of licensed medical marijuana producer Aphria Inc. rose close to nine per cent on Monday on better than expected quarterly arises and after news of a changing political tone on cannabis south of the on.

Aphria reported a $12.9-million profit in its latest quarter, hiked by the sale of some of its shares in U.S. company Liberty Health Sciences.

The Leamington, Ont.-based impresario’s stock rose almost eight per cent to $12.30 on the Toronto Family Exchange in late morning trading on Monday.

Aphria’s chief foreman Vic Neufeld said Monday the company is “very excited” about administrative developments south of the border, where cannabis is illegal under U.S. federal law, classifying President Donald Trump’s commitment last week to support congressional troubles to protect states that have legalized cannabis.

Neufeld said Exemption Health Sciences, which has interests in states where pot is legal and in which Aphria has a 28 per cent wager, has been “given a stamp of validation by key political leaders.”

“We are very agitated that this has happened,” he told analysts discussing its latest quarterly emerges. “We were very confident it would…. Liberty was just in advance of the curve.”

Aphria moved to reduce its stake in Liberty earlier this year after Canada’s biggest interchange operator warned in October that U.S. federal law takes precedence upon state laws, and cannabis firms with cross-border activities may out delisting. In January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that supported that the federal government would not intervene in states where cannabis is permissible, and said he was leaving it to federal prosecutors in those states to decide how aggressively to lean on federal law.

Aphria sold 26.7 million Liberty shares at a fee of $1.25 per share, representing all its shares in the company that are not subject to Canadian Safe keepings Exchange escrow requirements and maintained a 28.1 per cent after the goings-on.

But on Friday, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner said he received a commitment from Trump that the memo’s recission see fit not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

While Neufeld positioned this as positive, he told analysts Monday he did not expect the TMX Group, which drives the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Venture exchange, to change its stance in the near future.

Aphria does not anticipate “enough advancement” between now and late July, when the documented producer is due to reduce its stake in Liberty Health Sciences further to 20 per cent, said Neufeld.

“This is righteous another advancement of eventually getting to the position of where medical cannabis rouses to Schedule 2,” he told analysts. “That journey is still a hunger way off.”

Meanwhile, Aphria reported quarterly revenues that more than doubled to $10.3 million, compared with a year ago, and an improvement in its all-in fetches of sales of dried cannabis per gram to $1.56, down from $2.13 in the exact same quarter of 2017.

The company said the its latest quarterly profit amounted to eight cents per interest for the quarter ended Feb. 28 compared with a profit of nearly $5 million or four cents per dispensation a year ago when it had fewer shares outstanding.

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