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Embattled BlackBerry beats expectations with a profit in the first quarter

TORONTO - Blackberry surprised Wall Street by posting profit for the first quarter.

The embattled smartphone company reported net income of $23 million, or 4 cents per share, for the three months ended May 31. It had reported a loss of $84 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding unusual items, its adjusted loss was 11 cents per share in the latest period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss of 35 cents per share.

Revenue fell to $966 million compared with $3.07 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $961.7 million.

It was the third quarterly results under new chief executive John Chen, who is deemphasizing the hardware business after last year's launch of the BlackBerry 10 failed to spark a turnaround.

Shares are up 11.5 per cent to $9.26 in premarket trading.

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