BlackBerry beats expectations with $19M profit

BlackBerry Ltd. reported a profit in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago as it saw its software and service revenue hit a record high.

The company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Thursday it earned US$19 million or four cents per basic share in the quarter ended Aug. 31. That compared with a loss of $372 million or 71 cents per share a year ago.

Overall revenue totalled $238 million, down from $334 million from the same quarter last year, but up $3 million from the quarter ended May 31.

The company has made a shift to software and services over the past few years as its smartphones lost market share to Apple and Samsung.

Software and services revenue hit $185 million in the quarter, a record for BlackBerry and about three-quarters of the total for this year’s second quarter.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company’s non-GAAP operating margin was the highest in more than five years, reflecting its transformation to a software company.

“Based on our progress thus far in FY18, we are on track to achieve software and services revenue growth in the range of 10 per cent to 15 per cent and profitability for the full year,” he said in a statement.

Among other things, Chen said BlackBerry’s automotive business had made progress and its licencing business has a growing pipeline of opportunities for its portfolio of intellectual property and the BlackBerry Secure software.

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