BlackBerry Q3 results beat estimates, shares surge

John Chen chief executive officer of Black Berry

Revenue was down from $289 million a year ago, reflecting an ongoing decline in BlackBerry's legacy hardware business as it focuses on software and services for enterprise and government clients.

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. ran up 7.6% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the cybersecurity software company reported a surprise fiscal third-quarter adjusted profit and sales that beat expectations. Excluding non-recurring items, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of 3 cents, compared with the FactSet consensus of breakeven.

The Waterloo, Ont. -based technology company, which reports in US dollars, says the net loss included $149 million in expenses after BlackBerry lost an arbitration of a dispute with Nokia. A jump in that category had provided an unexpected boost to company earnings in the second quarter. Analysts had been expecting the company to break even on $212.2 million in revenue. Consensus for software and services revenue stood at around $187 million.

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"We had a very strong quarter and I'm very pleased with our results", Chen said on a conference call with analysts. BlackBerry's gross margin also hit a new record high at 77% on a non-GAAP basis and 74% on a GAAP basis.

"Our strategy is working and our execution is yielding results", Chen said in a statement. We expanded our position in key verticals and geographies, with many new partners and highly competitive customer wins.

BlackBerry shares have increased 58 percent since the beginning of the year.

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