Why Aphria stock sank today

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What happened

Shares of Aphria (NYSE:APHA) sank 10.2% as of 3:27 p.m. EST on Monday. The Canadian marijuana producer didn't announce any new developments, so why did its shares fall? There are two likely factors.

First, Canadian marijuana stocks in general declined on Monday in anticipation of quarterly updates from several major players, with Aurora Cannabis reporting its results after the market close. Second, Aphria's board of directors last week rejected a hostile takeover attempt by Green Growth Brands (NASDAQOTH:GGBXF), a decision that appeared to have zapped some enthusiasm among investors.

So what

Canadian marijuana stocks tend to move up and down together for the most part. It's not surprising that investors' anxiety over what several of the big players might report in their quarterly financial updates this week pulled Aphria down.

The company announced the results from its second quarter on Jan. 11, several weeks ahead of its peers. But its Q2, which ended on Nov. 30, 2018, only included around six weeks of sales from the recreational marijuana market in Canada. The updates from other big Canadian marijuana producers could provide additional clues about how Aphria's Q3 results might turn out.

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The decision by Aphria's board to rebuff Green Growth's hostile takeover attempt was fully expected. The offer simply wasn't attractive, with the proposed price being too low. The deal would also have required Aphria to delist from the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.

So why would turning down a bad deal weigh on Aphria's share price? The most likely reason is that the deal, despite its flaws, ignited investors' excitement about Aphria after the stock had been shellacked following short-sellers' allegations about overpaying for the acquisition of Latin American operations. With Green Growth's takeover attempt now likely to fizzle out (unless enough Aphria shareholders tender their shares to the U.S.-based cannabis grower), there isn't any other immediate catalyst to light a fire beneath investors.

Now what

The big things for investors to watch with Aphria really aren't the two factors that caused the stock to fall today. Instead, the primary developments to keep your eyes on are two important upcoming announcements from Aphria's board.

One will relate to the conclusions from a review conducted by a special committee of independent directors looking into the allegations about Aphria's Latin American acquisition. The other announcement will be the board's decision on the choice for replacing CEO Vic Neufeld, who is stepping down from his executive position. These two announcements could potentially go a long way in helping Aphria move past the dark cloud that has hung over the company for the past few months.

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