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BlackBerry CEO says he expects to double software revenue next year

Blackberry Passport
Aaron Harris | Reuters

BlackBerry's CEO expects software revenue at the tech company to double next year from about $250 million this fiscal year.

On Friday, BlackBerry reported a smaller quarterly loss in an early sign that its drawn-out turnaround efforts might be working.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares initially rose in pre-market trading but later fell. (Get the latest quote here.)

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company reported a net loss of $207 million, or 39 cents per share, for the second quarter ended Aug. 30. That compared with a year-earlier loss of $965 million, or $1.84 per share.

Excluding items, the company posted a second-quarter loss of 2 cents a share, compared to a loss of 47 cents per share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue decreased to $916 million from $1.57 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report a loss ex-items of 16 cents a share on $950 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Blackberry said it continues to anticipate maintaining its strong cash position, while increasingly looking for opportunities to invest in growth. The company reiterated that it targets break-even cash flow results by the end of fiscal 2015.

Earlier this week, BlackBerry unveiled its new Passport smartphone, as it looks to regain market share from Apple and prove that its handsets can compete in the iPhone-dominated market.

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The Passport, which comes with a U.S. price tag of $599 without a contract, received mixed reviews because of its block-shaped structure and incompatibility with popular apps like Instagram.

The company highlighted the phone's large touchscreen and said its modified version of the company's beloved keyboard made it ideal for reviewing and editing documents.

The Canada-based firm also rolled out its new Blend feature, which aims to allow users to seamlessly bridge messaging and content between a host of devices irrespective of operating systems.

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Earlier this month, BlackBerry acquired the U.K.-based mobile tech firm Movirtu, which makes software that allows for multiple phone numbers on the same device. In July, the company acquired Secusmart, a voice and data encryption business.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in April that the company's handset unit could return to profit on sales of as few as 10 million devices a year. Rival Apple said it sold 10 million new iPhone 6 models in its first weekend.

The volatile stock closed nearly 7 percent lower on Thursday, but shares have gained roughly 22 percent over the last 12 months.

Reuters contributed to this report.