By Taenaz Shakir and Jim Finkle
(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd beat analysts' profit estimates for its fourth quarter, and said it expects strong billings at its high-margin software and services business for the full year, sending its U.S.-listed shares up 5 percent premarket.
The company, which reinvented itself after customers ditched its smartphones for Apple's iPhones and Android devices, said revenue from its enterprise software and services business rose about 19 percent to $108 million.
"Our strategy is working," Chief Executive John Chen said during a morning conference call.
BlackBerry, which had about 3,500 enterprise customer orders in the quarter, expects total company software and services billings growth to be in "double-digits" in 2019.
The company extended CEO Chen's contract earlier this month, and followed that up with two big deals in software security - one with Jaguar Land Rover and the other with Microsoft.
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The profit beat was helped by higher margins on software and services sales.
BlackBerry's gross margins rose to 76 percent of the revenue, from 60.1 percent a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company earned 5 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected the company to break even, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net loss narrowed to $10 million, or 6 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, from $47 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company's revenue fell 18.5 percent to $233 million.
(Reporting by Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru and Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shailesh Kuber)