Cannabis producer Aphria moving US listing to Nasdaq from NYSE

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Canadian cannabis cultivator Aphria is moving its U.S. stock listing to a new venue, departing the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in favor of the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

The move will take place after markets close on Friday, June 5. Shares of Aphria will start trading on the Nasdaq as of Monday, June 8 under the same APHA ticker symbol.

In a news release issued Tuesday, Aphria CEO Irwin Simon described the move as reflecting the Ontario company’s “ongoing commitment to find cost-effective ways of operating so we can continue to deliver long-term value to shareholders.”

The move could be driven by cost-cutting concerns despite Aphria’s healthy balance sheet, Jeffries equity analyst Owen Bennett observed in a Tuesday note to clients.

Listing fees on the Nasdaq exchange are generally lower than NYSE fees, Bennett wrote.

“Another advantage of a Nasdaq listing, as we understand, is the reduced transaction fees involved in issuance/conversion/cancellation of shares,” Bennett wrote.

“Against this backdrop, and in light of Aphria’s strong balance sheet and Aurora’s recent acquisition of a U.S. CBD company, another possible read here could be M&A, and a move into the U.S. potentially on the radar.”

Aphria posted its fourth successive profitable quarter in April.

The Leamington, Ontario-based company’s primary listing will remain on the Toronto Stock Exchange, where, like the NYSE, it trades as APHA.

Struggling Canadian cannabis firm CannTrust was delisted from the NYSE in April after seeking a creditor protection order.

Another major Canadian marijuana producer, Hexo, recently received a warning that its shares could be delisted from the NYSE after falling below the $1 mark. Hexo shares are still trading below $1, but the company remains listed on the exchange.

Aurora Cannabis received a similar warning from the NYSE and subsequently consolidated its shares on a 12-to-1 basis to maintain its listing.