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Pot-Producer Aphria Lights Up on Surprise Quarterly Profit

Canadian cannabis company Aphria jumps after posting a surprise fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that were double analysts’ forecasts.

Canadian cannabis company Aphria  (APHA)  was a rare flicker of light in an otherwise down market on Wednesday as a surprise fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that were double analysts’ forecasts sparked investors to push the stock up as much as 20%.

Shares of Aphria rose to a two-month high of $4.42 in premarket trading in New York on Wednesday after the Leamington, Ontario-based company said that it swung to earnings of C$4.96 million ($3.53 million), or 2 cents a share, vs. a loss of C$108.27 million, or 43 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a loss of 4 cents a share. Revenue rose to C$144.42 million ($102.8 million) from C$73.58 million, beating the FactSet consensus of C$130.9 million.

Net cannabis revenue rose 65% from the sequential second quarter to C$55.6 million, which included 8,171 kilogram equivalents sold for the adult-use market. The average selling price of medical cannabis decreased to C$6.41 ($4.56) per gram from C$8.16 the prior quarter.

To be sure, Aphria has not been immune to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting impact on both markets and consumer demand – even for weed – noting it can't "accurately" forecast fourth-quarter results and is withdrawing previous fiscal 2020 revenue guidance.

Shares of Aphria settled back down after the market open, trading up 5.5% at $5.37. Even with Wednesday's against-the-tide gains, the stock has lost more 30% over the past three months.

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