BlackBerry reports surprise profit on cybersecurity strength

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(Reuters) – BlackBerry posted a surprise profit for the first quarter on Wednesday as its cybersecurity business benefited from higher client spending, while its enterprise software continued to gain traction in automotive sector.

U.S.-listed shares of the company rose 5.79% in extended trading.

The Canadian technology company is banking on resilient demand for its cybersecurity products on rising security threats in the information technology sector.

BlackBerry reported a surprise profit of 6 cents per share for the quarter ended May 31, while analysts were expecting a loss of 5 cents per share.

Its total revenue of $373 million topped analysts’ average estimate of $160.4 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue in the cybersecurity business unit rose 5.5% sequentially to $93 million, while revenue from licensing and other services came in at $235 million, majorly comprising of proceeds from patent sale.

BlackBerry, which went public in 1997 and soon became popular for its ubiquitous business smartphones, shut its flagship business last year and has since been trying to sell its legacy patents related to its mobile devices.

In March, it signed a deal to sell patents, primarily related to its mobile devices, to Malikie Innovation Limited for up to $900 million.

Waterloo, Canada-based BlackBerry earlier had announced its plans to conduct a review of strategic alternatives, including possible separation of its core businesses – cybersecurity and software systems.

(This story has been refiled to fix a typo in the headline)

(Reporting by Akshita Toshniwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)

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