BlackBerry posts loss of 5 cents a share vs. 3 cent loss estimate

Despite a quarterly loss, BlackBerry sees traction in its growing software segment as it continues to ink partnerships and improve platforms, its CEO John Chen said Tuesday.

"We're pleased with where we are," Chen told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

BlackBerry on Tuesday reported a quarterly loss that was slightly larger than analysts had forecast, while revenue fell short of expectations. The company posted a first-quarter adjusted loss of 5 cents per share, narrowing from a loss of 11 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue fell to $658 million from $966 million a year ago.

Wall Street forecast BlackBerry would deliver a quarterly loss of 3 cents a share on $679 million in revenue, according a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

A BlackBerry Leap smart phone
Pau Barrena | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A BlackBerry Leap smart phone

BlackBerry said its turnaround gained traction as sales at its crucial software segment rose in the first quarter and its broader revenue slide began to ease. Investors, though, took a pessimistic outlook, sending BlackBerry shares nearly 4 percent lower into Tuesday afternoon.

Quarterly revenue totaled $658 million in the quarter, slightly lower than the prior period, but software revenue more than doubled from a year ago to $137 million as the company pivots to that segment.

"This is the best sign yet that the turnaround is working," said Morningstar analyst Brian Colello in response to software revenues.

Analysts and investors have been concerned about BlackBerry's ability to grow the software business as it transforms itself from a hardware-focused company to more of a software and services provider.

Chen also touted BlackBerry's potential to revive its mobile phone business. The segment has suffered amid increased competition from companies including Apple and Samsung.

BlackBerry remains "bullish" on phones and sees chances to regain some leverage in the market with new models at the end of this year, Chen noted.

"We think we can make money on the phones. We've done a lot of things not only about the design but everything we talked about with manufacturing arrangements to components to everything included," he said.

Separately, BlackBerry announced a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement with Cisco Systems that covers their respective products and technologies. BlackBerry said that it will receive a license fee from Cisco, but terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement is part of Chen's push to license and monetize the company's deep pool of patents that it has built up over the years.

BlackBerry said it has signed partnership deals with Wistron and Compal Electronics, extending the company's reliance on others for joint development and manufacturing of its devices as it aims for profitability in its handset business. The company already has a deal in place with Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn Technology.

In May, the company acquired WatchDox, a data security company. BlackBerry's stock has been reeling in 2015, having dropped 16 percent. Meanwhile, shares of iPhone seller Apple have jumped 15 percent year to date.

CNBC's Terri Cullen and Reuters contributed to this report.