uploads///Aphria and Cannabis Sector ETFs

Why Aphria’s Short Sellers Got Squeezed

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Mar. 5 2019, Published 3:18 p.m. ET

Short sellers’ claims

Aphria (APHA) received severe criticism from short sellers late last year over its acquisition in Latin America. Short sellers even rushed to call Aphria “worthless.” However, in stark contrast, others in the industry took the opposite view and gave more weight to the company’s Canadain operations.

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Short squeeze

In December last year, the stock reached a bottom at 5 Canadian dollars, which was the worst level that the company has seen in the post-legalized Canadian cannabis world. The company underperformed its peers (HMMJ), including Canopy Growth (WEED), Tilray (TLRY), and Cronos Group (CRON).

Beginning in 2019, Aphria’s stock started trending higher. Investor confidence in the company grew after it reported its quarterly earnings in January. More importantly, news that CEO Vic Neufeld and co-founder Cole Cacciavillani will be transitioning out of their roles made Aphria even more appetizing for investors who questioned the company’s internal conflict of interest.

As the months progressed, Aphria only climbed higher, and it closed at about 13.9 Canadian dollars on March 4—which was nearly 176% up from its low of 5 Canadian dollars.

Read why the new facility approval from Health Canada is bad news for short sellers in the next part of this series.

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