BlackBerry quarterly results beat on software strength

. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Canadian software maker BlackBerry on Friday reported quarterly revenue and profit that topped analysts' estimates, driven by strong growth in its high-margin software and services business.

U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry rose 2.6 percent to $11.89 in premarket trading.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said revenue from its enterprise software and services business rose 18 percent to $189 million in the first quarter.

Blackberry, which dominated the smartphone market nearly a decade ago before losing out to Apple's iPhones and Android devices, has been trying to win investor confidence and make money by selling software to manage mobile devices to corporations and government agencies.

As part of the transition, the company is focusing on making software for next-generation driverless cars based on its QNX platform.

"I am pleased that BlackBerry QNX software is now embedded in over 120 million automobiles worldwide, doubling the install base in the last three years," Chief Executive Officer John Chen said in a statement.

The company's net loss was $60 million, or 11 cents per share, for the first quarter ended May 31, compared with a profit of $671 million, or $1.23 per share, a year earlier.

BlackBerry received a one-time arbitration payment of $940 million from Qualcomm Inc in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding items, the company earned 3 cents per share. Analysts were expecting the company to break even on a per share basis, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue fell 9.4 percent to $213 million, but still beat analysts' estimate of $208 million.

(Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)