NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BlackBerry ( BBRY) reported a surprise fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, as the smartphone maker continues to turn itself around. On an adjusted basis, BlackBerry earned 22 cents a share on $2.7 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected BlackBerry to post a loss of 29 cents a share on $2.84 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Estimize were looking for a loss of 29 cents a share on sales of $2.85 billion. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it shipped about 6 million BlackBerry smartphones, including 1 million BlackBerry 10 smartphones and approximately 370,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. The company ended the quarter with a subscriber base of 76 million, down from 79 million in the third quarter. In January, the embattled handset maker unveiled its much-delayed BlackBerry 10 technology, and changed its name from Research In Motion to BlackBerry. Some analysts, however, have cited a disappointing U.S. launch for the Z10, the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone to hit the market.
Confronted with stiff competition from Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone and the myriad of Google ( GOOG) Android devices, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins tried to convince investors that the company is firmly in turnaround mode. On the conference call, Heins noted that 55% of the 1 million BlackBerry 10 device users came from other platforms.
The focus was on BlackBerry's outlook, given extremely limited expectations for the company's fourth-quarter results. The company announced it intended to report break-even financial results, despite having a 50% increase in marketing spend to support the BlackBerry 10 platform. For its fiscal first quarter, BlackBerry is expected to report revenue of $3.27 billion and a loss of 10 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. BlackBerry shares rose 3.91% to $15.14 during early Thursday trading. -- Written by James Rogers and Chris Ciaccia in New York. Follow @jamesjrogers Follow @Commodity_Bull >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.