In what are still all-too-rare occurrences in the marijuana industry, on Thursday Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA) announced that it beat analyst estimates in its latest quarter, and even squeezed out a small profit.

The Canadian company reported that its net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2021 was 160.5 million Canadian dollars ($126.2 million). That was a robust 33% higher on a year-over-year basis, and 10% above the first-quarter tally.

On an adjusted basis, Aphria flipped to a profit of CA$3.2 million, or CA$0.01 per share. That compared very favorably to the year-ago loss of nearly CA$48.8 million; a comparable figure for the first quarter was not readily available.

Marijuana flower on fire.

Image source: Getty Images.

Regardless, the pair of second-quarter headline numbers were better than expected. On average, analysts following Aphria had forecast a top line of just under $119.4 million in U.S. dollars for net revenue, and a per-share net loss of $0.02.

Aphria attributed its quarter-over-quarter growth to higher distribution revenue from CC Pharma, its medical marijuana distributor in Germany. But all in all, its average retail selling price in the medical category dropped to CA$6.96 per gram from the first quarter's CA$7.38.

This was due, the company wrote, to "specific pricing programs offered to assist patients in need who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other promotional programs."

Recreational weed saw a slight uptick, by contrast, rising to CA$4.29 per gram against the previous quarter's CA$4.15. Aphria attributed this to shifts in its sales mix.

Bottom-line profit is the rare high that cannabis investors continue to chase, so it was no wonder Aphria shares rocketed 21% on Thursday, against a modest decline in the S&P 500 index.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.