You have to hand it to BlackBerry (BBRY)  CEO John Chen -- he has done one heck of a job bringing the former smartphone giant back to life.

Shares of BlackBerry have skyrocketed about 66% so far this year as turnaround specialist Chen and his hand-picked team have pivoted BlackBerry toward a play on several key trends. One is providing technology for connected and autonomous cars. In fact, the company scored a nice win last week by having the technology behind Canada's first on-road autonomous vehicle (a Lincoln MKZ if you must know). The other is developing a suite of products levered to cyber-security. BlackBerry is providing software and services to banks and to other institutions likely fearful of being hacked. 

Chen told TheStreet BlackBerry's transformation is largely complete, and more of a push into the connected life lays ahead. 

Don't miss these top stories on TheStreet: