Pot Stock Dividends No Longer a Paradox as Aphria Floats Idea

(Bloomberg) -- A dividend-paying pot stock may sound like a contradiction but for the first time it’s being raised as a possibility.

Aphria Inc. would like to return money to shareholders, Chief Financial Officer Carl Merton told analysts on the company’s earnings call Tuesday.

The Canadian cannabis producer has posted three consecutive quarters of positive adjusted Ebitda, a rarity in the industry, and aims to continue that trend “to both internally finance future growth initiatives and, in the future, being in the position to provide an annual return to our shareholders through dividends,” Merton said.

It’s a bold statement in an emerging industry that’s seen its benchmark ETFs plunge more than 60% since March amid disappointing earnings results, which have included large Ebitda losses from most companies. While Aphria stands out for its profitability, the numbers are tiny with second-quarter adjusted Ebitda coming in at C$1.9 million.

Shares fell as much as 11% in early trading after the company missed second-quarter revenue estimates and cut its full-year forecast. At the end of the quarter, it had nearly C$500 million of cash and cash equivalents.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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