BlackBerry posts smaller $207M quarterly loss

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TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry posted a smaller loss of $207 million in the second quarter on Friday just days after the embattled company launched a new phone.

Chief Executive John Chen said on a conference call with analysts that BlackBerry is "definitely in the first half" of an eight quarter turnaround.

"We might not be at the lowest point but we are near the bottoming out of this revenue," Chen said.

Chen, who became CEO 10 months ago after a failed sale attempt, reiterated that he wants the company to return to profit by the end of the fiscal year in February 2015.

The Canadian company lost two cents per share on an adjusted basis on revenue of $916 million in the latest quarter. The $207 million loss was smaller than its loss of $965 million a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a larger adjusted loss of 15 cents per share on higher sales of $951 million.

Since taking over, Chen has been putting more emphasis on BlackBerry's mobile device management business, a collection of software that allows IT departments to manage different devices connected to their corporate networks. He has also emphasized messaging service as well as Blackberry's embedded QNX software systems, which are used in-vehicle infotainment systems and industrial machines.

Earlier this week, Chen unveiled a large-screen, square sized phone called the Passport to a Toronto audience. No launch event was held in the U. S. where analysts say there is little demand or carrier interest. BlackBerry has increasingly lost relevance as a smartphone company in the years since the 2007 launch of Apple's touchscreen iPhone and the 2008 introduction of Google-powered Android phones.

Shares of BlackBerry rose 71 cents, or 7.1 percent, to $10.51 in morning trading.

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