Canadian marijuana harvester and producer CannTrust Holdings (CTST) on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts amid higher production and distribution of its medical and recreational cannabis products.

The Toronto-area company said it earned C$12.8 million ($9.5 million), or 12 cents a share, in the first quarter, vs. C$11.4 million, or 12 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a loss of 4 cents a share. Revenue more than doubled to a record C$16.9 million from C$7.8 million. 

More than two-thirds of the company's quarterly revenue was through its medical channel, with the remaining third via its recreational channel. Total active patient count reached 68,000 at the end of March, a 70% increase from the first quarter of 2018, the company said.

"With the successful closing of our equity offering, we are well positioned to execute on our growth plans," CEO Peter Aceto said in a statement. "All told, we continue to expect to exit 2020 at a production rate of between 200,000kg to 300,000kg per year."

Victoria Day #longweekend is quickly approaching. Be sure to get your orders in early to avoid delays. pic.twitter.com/rx74j8cRni

— CannTrust (@CannTrust) May 13, 2019

Harvested production increased by more than 400% to more than 9,400kg from the first quarter of 2018, and 96% from the fourth quarter of 2018, with the company selling more than 3,000kg of dried cannabis equivalent at an average net price of $5.47 per gram.

Cost of sales per gram sold and cash cost per gram sold were $3.03 and $2.77, respectively, compared to $3.08 and $2.94, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Separately, CannTrust said on Monday that it has finalized a letter of intent with Société québécoise du cannabis, a government-run agency that oversees legal sales of cannabis products, to provide residents of the province of Quebec with recreational cannabis.

Shares of CannTrust gained more than 3% in early trading on Tuesday, rising to $5.93 on the New York Stock Exchange.