Wednesday 26 November 2014

Blackberry posts surprise profit for first quarter

Published 19/06/2014 | 15:31

BlackBerry is planning a new 'retro' phone
The embattled smartphone company reported net income of $US23 million (€16.89 million), or 4 us cents per share, for the three months ended May 31.

BlackBerry has surprised Wall Street by posting profit for the first quarter.

The embattled smartphone company reported net income of $US23 million (€16.89 million), or 4 us cents per share, for the three months ended May 31.

It had reported a loss of 84 million dollars (£49.3 million), or 16 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding unusual items, its adjusted loss was 11 cents per share in the latest period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss of 35 cents per share.

Revenue fell to 966 million dollars (£567 million) compared with 3.07 billion dollars (£1.8 billion) a year ago. Analysts expected 961.7 million dollars (£564 million).

It was the third quarterly results under new chief executive John Chen, who is de-emphasising the hardware business after last year's launch of the BlackBerry 10 failed to spark a turnaround.

"We are getting very close to making money or at least break even on hardware. Not quite there yet, but close," Mr Chen said on a conference call with analysts.

He said the company will launch a new keyboard smartphone model called the BlackBerry Passport in London in September, followed by the previously announced Classic in November.

Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, said: "He's doing exactly what John Chen should be doing. He's right-sizing the business to fit demand. He is focused in the areas where he is still relevant. He's cut partnerships to shore up weaknesses

"If they can get this business where they are selling a million phones a month they'll be a nice little niche. It will be a nice little profitable business."

BlackBerry announced yesterday that it is adding the Amazon Appstore to its phones. That will give users of the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system easy access to thousands more of the most popular Android apps and games.

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