BlackBerry reduces loss, sales down


Published: Friday 19th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry reported an adjusted profit for its fiscal third quarter, surprising Wall Street.

But its revenue fell, missing analysts’ estimates.

Its shares declined more than 5% in premarket trading on Friday.

BlackBerry was considered a game changer in 1999 when it launched the RIM 950, which allowed on-the-go business people to access email wirelessly.

Then came a new generation of competing smartphones, and suddenly BlackBerry looked ancient.

Apple showed that phones can handle much more than email and phone calls, and BlackBerry was late in overhauling its operating system to compete.

BlackBerry now holds a small fraction of the US smartphone market after commanding a near-50% share as recently as 2009. It is trying to stay relevant in making hardware even as it tries to transform itself into an enterprise security and consumer software company.

On Wednesday, BlackBerry launched the Classic, a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones – and most smartphone customers – have embraced touch screens.

BlackBerry is courting its core customer, the business user, with the new device. Whether the Classic will sell enough to keep BlackBerry in the hardware business is unclear.

For the period ended on November 29, the Canadian company lost 148 million US dollars (£95 million), or 28 cents per share. That compares with a loss of 4.4 billion dollars (£2.8 billion), or 8.37 dollars per share, a year earlier. Stripping out some charges, earnings were a penny per share.

Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research predicted a loss of 6 cents per share.

Revenue dropped to 793 million (£507 million) from 1.19 billion dollars (£760 million). Analysts were looking for 927.8 million dollars (£593 million), according to Zacks.

BlackBerry said that about 46% of its revenue came from hardware, with another 46% from services. Software and other revenue was 8%.

BlackBerry said that it continues to target sustainable adjusted profitability some time in fiscal 2016.

Published: Friday 19th December 2014 by The News Editor

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