Could BlackBerry's Turnaround Efforts be Beginning to Gain Traction?

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This story originally appeared on Reuters

BlackBerry Ltd posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Friday, offering signs its turnaround efforts may be beginning to gain traction, but a larger-than-expected drop in revenue gave investors cause for concern.

The stock fell 2.5 percent to $9.07 in premarket Nasdaq trading.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry reported net profit of $28 million, or 5 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 28. That compared with a year-earlier loss of $148 million, or 28 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, quarterly profit was $20 million, or 4 cents a share. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 4 cents a share in the period, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly revenue, however, slid to $660 million from $793 million, and was well below Wall Street expectations of $786.4 million.

In a positive sign, software revenue rose 20 percent from a year earlier to $67 million. The revenues are a key metric that analysts are looking at this quarter, given the company's ongoing transition to a more software-driven revenue stream, away from its more traditional hardware- and services-driven model.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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