What happened

Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), the big marijuana operator resulting from the recent merger of the namesake company with the former Aprhia, is a stock on fire this week. Despite a bit of a pullback on Friday, the shares were still up by almost 7% week to date several hours before market close. It wasn't hard to discern the reason why.

So what

The "new" Tilray reported its fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 figures on Wednesday, and they looked awfully sweet. Net revenue rose a sturdy 25% year over year to $142 million (taking into account Aphria's performance as a separate company in the year-ago period). And in a rare instance of a marijuana company actually being profitable, Tilray booked net income of nearly $34 million, or $0.18 per share.

Smiling person holding marijuana seedling in a field.

Image source: Getty Images.

Those results didn't come close to analyst estimates. On average, Tilray prognosticators were expecting a much fatter top line, at $199 million. On the other hand, they were projecting a net loss of $0.12 per share.

Now what

Tilray -- incidentally the current largest pot company on Earth in terms of revenue -- enjoyed a 36% gain in net cannabis revenue, an encouraging performance that helped lift its overall top-line figure. One caveat about the seemingly impressive net profit number, though: Much of it was due to accounting gains for the company's convertible debentures

Nevertheless, cannabis investors are desperately hungry for profitability, any profitability from their companies. They also yearn for solid top-line growth. In its Q4, Tilray delivered both, so no wonder its stock is a hit this week.

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.