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BlackBerry Reports Another Surprise Profit, Though Revenue Dips

The Canadian phone maker earned four cents per share, excluding items, well ahead of analysts' expectations.

Ina Fried

BlackBerry on Friday reported a quarterly profit of four cents per share, excluding certain items, well above the expected four-cent-per-share loss.

It’s the second straight surprise profit for the Canadian smartphone maker.

The sales picture was less rosy, with revenue of approximately $660 million, including what the company said was a $12 million negative impact from currency fluctuation. That’s down from $793 million in revenue in the prior quarter and $976 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

BlackBerry said it recognized revenue on 1.3 million BlackBerry phone sales during the three months ended Feb. 28, with 1.6 million devices sold to customers — meaning that the company was still working through excess inventory.

The company gave limited financial guidance, reiterating its expectations to continue generating cash and saying it hopes to be sustainably profitable, excluding items, sometime in fiscal 2016.

CEO John Chen said at Mobile World Congress that the company’s turnaround was ahead of schedule and that he expected it to stabilize its revenue this year and to have continued positive cash flow.

He reiterated those sentiments on Friday.

“Our focus this past year was on getting our financial house in order while creating a multi-year growth strategy and investing in our product portfolio,” Chen said in a statement. “We now have a very good handle on our margins, and our product roadmaps have been well received. The second half of our turnaround focuses on stabilization of revenue with sustainable profitability and cash generation.”

BlackBerry shares traded up in pre-market trading after the earnings announcement, changing hands recently at $9.42, up 12 cents, or more than 1 percent.

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