Shares of cannabis producer Aphria Inc. (APHA)  rose 5.2% to $6.92 Friday after the company confirmed its CEO was stepping down, and released its fiscal second-quarter earnings.

The stock had traded lower before the market opened.

The Globe and Mail first reported Thursday that Vic Neufeld would step down as CEO of Aphria amid questions about its deal-making and slumping stock price.

Aphria confirmed on Friday that Neufeld and co-founder Cole Cacciavillani will transition out of their executive roles over the coming months.

"Vic and Cole are consummate entrepreneurs. Thanks to their vision, energy and passion, Aphria has become a global player in an industry that didn't even exist five years ago," said Aphria Chair Irwin Simon.

At the same time, the Canadian cannabis grower said it earned net income of C$54.8 million, or 22 cents a share, in its fiscal second quarter, up from C$21.2 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

The increase in net income relates to gains on the company's long-term investment portfolio, primarily its divestitures of positions in Hiku Brands and Liberty Health Sciences.

The company also said it ended the quarter with a strong balance sheet and liquidity, including C$152.1 million of cash and C$32.7 million of liquid marketable securities, to fund announced Canadian and international growth and facilities expansion.