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BlackBerry beats expectations with quarterly earnings

Thanks to a bit of accountancy jiggery-pokery, BlackBerry notched up its fifteenth consecutive profitable quarter
Blackberry phone
Blackberry is now focused on software services rather than handsets

Reports of the demise of Blackberry Ltd (NYSE:BB, TSE:BB) may have been exaggerated, as Canada's flagship technology company beat expectations with its quarterly earnings.

Excluding one-off items and amortisation costs, earnings per share (EPS) for the three months to the end of November totalled three US cents, beating market expectations of a break-even result.

READ: Blackberry shares soar as it reaps rewards of move to software

On a generally accepted accounting principles basis (GAAP) the loss per share widened to 52 US cents from 22 US cents in the same period of 2016.

Adjusted underlying earnings, or EBITDA, were positive at US$35mln, representing the fifteenth consecutive positive quarter for the company that once owned the smartphone crown.

The company, now focused on cyber-security software, achieved the profit despite revenue sliding to US$226mln from US$301mln; analysts had pencilled in a figure of US$215.4mln for revenue.

The company enjoyed record quarterly software and services revenue of US$190mln.

"Our momentum continues, with the delivery of a strong third quarter; I am very pleased with our results. Our progress, in both our financial and strategic objectives, is notable," said John Chen, executive chairman and chief executive officer of BlackBerry.

"We achieved records in software and services revenue and total company gross margin; breaking the records we set last quarter. We expanded our position in key verticals and geographies, with many new partners and highly competitive customer wins.

READ: BlackBerry shares crash after quarterly sales disappoint

“Our strategy is working and our execution is yielding results," he added.

The company maintained its full-year guidance ranges but said it expects to come in the mid-to-higher end of the revenue range of US$920mln to US$950mln.

BlackBerry's shares were up 7.6% at US$10.87 in pre-market trading in New York.

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"The excellent result for this year was delivered through a combination of strategic acquisition and organic contract wins, maintaining margins on customer contracts and maintaining high levels of operational efficiency."

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