December 20, 2019 / 12:14 PM / 6 months ago

Licensing, cybersecurity power BlackBerry's beat, shares rise 10%

(Reuters) - Canada’s BlackBerry Ltd beat quarterly profit and revenue estimates on Friday, boosted by demand in its patent licensing and cybersecurity businesses, sending its shares up 10% to a nine-month high.

FILE PHOTO: A Blackberry sign is seen in front of their offices on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Canada in this June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

BlackBerry, once popular for its phones before losing out to Apple Inc’s iPhones and Android devices, now offers data security software for corporations and government agencies, and software for driverless cars.

As part of the push into cybersecurity business, the company in February acquired Cylance, a California-based cyber security business whose software uses machine learning to avoid security breaches. BlackBerry reported revenue of $40 million from Cylance.

“The complete offering of Cylance products and services will no doubt help drive stronger revenue growth next year,” Chief Executive Officer John Chen said on a post-earnings call.

The company’s adjusted revenue rose 23% to $280 million in the third quarter ended Nov. 30, beating analysts’ average estimate of $276 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

However, adjusted revenue in the company’s Internet-of-Things business, which houses the technology solutions and enterprise software and services (ESS) units, fell 3% to $145 million.

Chen had warned during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that softness in the ESS business will linger for the next two quarters, primarily due to changes in its sales team.

The company reported a quarterly net loss of $32 million, compared with a profit of $59 million, a year earlier.

On a per share basis, its loss widened to 7 cents from 1 cent, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, BlackBerry earned 3 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 2 cents.

Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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