BlackBerry Outperforms Analysts' Projections for Q1

By Ed Silverstein June 19, 2014

Many smartphone sector watchers had expected a funeral service for BlackBerry – but the Canadian-based tech company has been revived.

The company’s Q1 earnings, which showed a profit, led its stock to increase over 10 percent in pre-market trading on Thursday.

The company additionally reported that Q1 showed it had $3.1 billion in cash and investments; revenue was $966 million, compared to $3.07 billion in 2013; and earnings per share were 4 cents. Analysts had predicted between $954 million and $963 million in revenue for the recent quarter.

Because of accounting adjustments, the company earned $23 million in profit during Q1. Without the adjustments, earnings would have led to a loss of $60 million, media reports said.

The company also announced that 2.6 million BlackBerry phones were sold recently by either retailers or carriers, the Business Insider reported. Among its more successful devices is the BlackBerry Z3, which was launched in Indonesia.

In addition, John S. Chen, BlackBerry's chairman and CEO, is focusing the company more on services and software than selling phones, according to a report from The New York Times. The company has also been undergoing various cost-cutting measures, and is focusing more on business customers.

“Over the past six months, we have focused on improving efficiency in all aspects of our operations to drive cost reductions and margin improvement,” Chen said in a statement. “Looking forward, we are focusing on our growth plan to enable our return to profitability.”

Overall, sales are still dropping at BlackBerry. The company has faced stiff competition from smartphone rivals run by Apple’s operating system, as well as Google's Android operating system.

Yet, BlackBerry offered some additional positive news. It will partner with Amazon to provide over 240,000 Android apps to BlackBerry 10 customers through the Amazon app store. These include Candy Crush Saga, Netflix and Minecraft.

In May, Chen improved the chances of “turning around the business” from 50-50 to 80-20, according to CNET. "Yeah, we have problems, but it's not dead," Chen said in a statement quoted by CNET. "I'm confident we will be able to save the patient."

“Our performance in fiscal Q1 demonstrates that we are firmly on track to achieve important milestones, including our financial objectives and delivering a strong product portfolio,” Chen added in the recent statement as quoted by the Toronto Globe & Mail.

Chen said the company is "still working on a way to make money in the handset business." Chen added in a conference call that "significant progress" was made in "returning BlackBerry to growth and profit." And Q1 showed there was "stabilization and improvement in all areas," Chen continued.

Chen also said the "windmere" version smartphone will be launched in September, ZDNet reported. It will be called the BlackBerry Passport, and will have a QWERTY keyboard, the report adds. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

TechZone360 Contributor

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