Aphria Is First Canadian Pot Company to Turn a Profit

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Aphria Is First Canadian Pot Company to Turn a Profit(Bloomberg) -- Aphria Inc. became the first major Canadian cannabis company to report a net profit, sending its U.S. shares up 33% in pre-market trading Friday.The Leamington, Ontario-based pot producer said Thursday it earned C$15.8 million ($12 million) in the quarter ended May 31 on revenue of C$129 million. The revenue figure beat the highest analyst estimate, and was up 75% from the prior quarter.The results are a remarkable shift from last quarter, when Aphria reported a significant drop in gross margin, revenue that missed expectations and a C$50 million writedown on its Latin American assets.“In the context of poor sector sentiment, profitability becoming an increasing focus, and guidance scarce, this print is very reassuring and supports our conviction in the name,” Jefferies analyst Ryan Tomkins wrote in a note. He’s among 9 analysts carrying a buy-equivalent rating on the stock. “Names who can show a route to profitability (or are there now) have the greatest likelihood attracting near term investor interest.”Key InsightsRevenue from recreational cannabis sales was C$18.5 million, up 158% from the prior quarter, on 5,574 kilograms of cannabis soldIt also cost Aphria less to produce pot, with cash cost per gram of dried cannabis falling to C$1.35 from C$1.48Aphria said it expects to generate net revenue of C$650 million to C$700 million in fiscal 2020, which ends May 31, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of C$88 million to C$95 million. Analysts expected revenue of C$701 million and Ebitda of C$46 millionManagement CommentaryInterim Chief Executive Officer Irwin Simon indicated there’s no immediate plan to replace him with a permanent leader. “The leadership team we have in place is solid; there is no management void at Aphria,” he said. “There is no emphasis on ‘interim’ by me and my team”The company is “building strategic partnerships and alliances” in the U.S. CBD market, where it doesn’t currently have a presence. “Let me be clear: we’re always looking for opportunities in the U.S., but it needs to be the right opportunity, one that will create real and long-term value for our shareholders,” Simon saidChief Financial Officer Carl Merton reiterated the company’s intent to generate C$1 billion in annualized revenue by the end of calendar 2020(Updates with pre-market trading, analyst commentary.)To contact the reporter on this story: Kristine Owram in Toronto at kowram@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at bolesen3@bloomberg.net, Divya Balji, Jacqueline ThorpeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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