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Surprise! BlackBerry Reports a Small Profit.

Last month, CEO John Chen promised he could "save the patient." Today, he showed he may be right.

Asa Mathat

Just last month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen insisted in an appearance at the Code Conference that the long-suffering Canadian maker of smartphones was “not dead.”

Today, he proved a bit of what he meant. BlackBerry reported revenue of $966 million and an adjusted loss of 11 cents per share in the first quarter ended May 31. Analysts had expected a loss of 26 cents per share.

On a generally accepted accounting principle basis, BlackBerry reported a profit of four cents per share, buoyed by real estate sales and some tax benefits.

BlackBerry shares rose by more than 10 percent in pre-market trading to $9.13. The shares closed Wednesday at $8.29, amounting to an improvement of about 11 percent since the start of 2014.

BlackBerry exited the quarter with $3.1 billion in cash on its balance sheet, and said it expects to exit its fiscal year at the break-even point.

In a statement, Chen said the results demonstrate that BlackBerry is “firmly on track to achieve important milestones.”

He also said that during the last six months the company has focused on reducing costs. BlackBerry’s operational costs declined by 40 percent year on year to $400 million, while research and development costs fell by nearly 34 percent to $237 million.

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