Aphria Inc Delays Q4 Release Date; To Coincide With Molson Coors Q2 Results

Benjamin A. Smith

In what may be perceived as coordinated synchronism by the market, Aphria Inc (TSE:APH) (OTCMKTS:APHQF) (FRA:10E) have delayed their Q4 2018 earnings release until the beginning of next month. While there’s nothing particular special about such an occurrence in isolation, it happens to coincide with the earnings date of a company Aphria has been inextricably linked to in recent days. We explore.

The announcement in question was disseminated this morning via pre-market press release. In a simple 6-line missive, Aphria plainly stated that they will release its fourth quarter results for 2018 on August 1, 2018. Several sources had slated July 11 as the target disclosure date—in line with historical norms.

As it turns out, the new release date coincides precisely with Molson Coors Brewing Co. Q2 earnings results, scheduled for dissemination on the same day.

Of course, the timing could be completely innocuous and coincidental. For example, Aphria could simply be re-calibrating their earning release (and all future ones) for beginning-of-month dissemination. Standardized release times are very common with larger companies. With a valuation approaching $3 billion, the company is approaching such status.

Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld conducts live Midas Letter interview (May 25, 2018)

Still, given the Aphria-Molson Coors rumors reverberating throughout the sector recently, the question that springs to mind is ‘Why now’? With legalization earnings ramp-up yet to take effect, there’s no obvious immediacy for such action. All previous releases were conducted at various times intra-month, roughly three months apart.

For investors not apprised of current Aphria-Molson Coors rumors, Midas Letter was among the first news organizations to connect the dots. In subsequent days, analysts and former executives have been paraded on network business news, giving added validity to the rumors. One analyst, Vivian Azer from Cowen & Co., even directly alluded to direct involvement between both companies (1:35). Simple mistake or subconscious projection? We leave it to viewers to decide.

Final Thoughts

In the end, we do not wish to be purveyors of conspiracy theories or whisper mongering. That’s not what the Midas Letter is all about. However, we’d be remiss to ignore that Aphria’s announcement could presage a wider partnership disclosure come August 1, as sometimes occurs when two bedfellows come together.

At the very least, Aphria would have known such earnings release synchronization would fire-up the internet rumor mill, with author’s such as myself taking the bait. That, in turn, sets up a certain expectations in the marketplace. While there’s zero lasting repercussions if August 1 comes & goes without a partnership announcement (all of this is still conjecture), some limited shareholder letdown might be expected. I wonder if Aphria would set themselves up for such needless disappointment.

Aphria is currently flat at $11.65/share, in contrast to competitors Canopy Growth Corp. (↓1.52%) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (↓1.51%).

Benjamin A. Smith

Benjamin A. Smith

Ben is a research analyst and capital markets professional with nearly 20 years of experience. His areas of expertise are broad-based, and include extensive knowledge of macro economics, stock/derivative trading, commodity complexes, cryptocurrencies and technical/quant analysis. He also maintains an particular affinity for U.S. politics and the macro-regulatory environment facing...
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