(Adds details on results)
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Canada's BlackBerry Ltd reported third-quarter results on Wednesday that beat analysts' forecasts, helped by an increase in business software sales and licensing revenue, sending its stock up more than 7 percent in premarket trading.
The company reported adjusted earnings of 3 cents a share in the quarter ended Nov. 30, better than the average analyst forecast for it to break even, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Quarterly revenue fell 25 percent from a year earlier to $226 million, beating the average forecast of $215.4 million.
"It's pretty impressive, beating on both the top and bottom lines," said Ali Mogharabi, an analyst at Morningstar. "The growth specifically in enterprise software is good to see."
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said enterprise software and services sales jumped 11.5 percent from a year ago to $97 million as it received some 3,000 orders in the quarter from customers including NATO, the U.S. government and Deutsche Bank.
Revenue from intellectual property and licensing surged 67 percent to $50 million. A jump in that category had provided an unexpected boost to company earnings in the second quarter.
Sales in its BlackBerry Technology Solution group - which includes the QNX software used in auto infotainment units and self-driving vehicle systems - were flat at $43 million.
The company's U.S.-listed shares were up 7.5 percent at $11.69 in premarket trading. (Editing by Jim Finkle and Bernadette Baum)