Daily Management Review

BlackBerry reviving as a software company


BlackBerry’s quotes jumped almost 15% thanks to the company’s positive financial report. The Canadian vendor's profit once again turned to be higher than Wall Street’s expectations.

Ben Stassen via flickr
Ben Stassen via flickr
It seems that BlackBerry has finally found its niche in the modern highly competitive high-tech market. Previously, the company produced smartphones with its own operating system, but eventually lost the battle to Android and iOS. One lossy quarters were coming one after another. The company was cutting staff, trying to focus on the corporate sector, relying on security of its gadgets, but all to no avail - share of their smartphones was rapidly declining. 

As a result, the company’s management surrendered. BlackBerry announced that it would no longer independently produce mobile devices under its brand, but focus on software, becoming, in fact, a software company. And, it seems, the strategy is paying off: BlackBerry is coming back in the black.

According to results of the IV fiscal quarter, the company raised $ 286 million, whereas the figure was measured at $ 464 million in the previous year. Net losses decreased from $ 117 to $ 47 million. Operating loss fell by half from $ 114 million to $ 57 million.

Excluding one-off costs and revenues, BlackBerry received adjusted quarterly revenue of $ 297 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S forecasted this figure at $ 289.3 million. Quarterly adjusted earnings for the sixth time in a row turned out to be higher than experts' forecasts : 4 vs. 0 cents per share.

As a result of the last quarter of 2017 financial year, the company received adjusted profit against the forecast loss. Investors took this news positively: the company's shares rose in price in December 2016 by almost 3%. 

The Canadian company also disclosed financial indicators for 2017 fiscal year. The manufacturer's profit was higher than Wall Street’s expectations. For the 12-month reporting period, which ended on February 28, 2017, BlackBerry revenue was $ 1.3 billion compared to $ 2.2 billion a year earlier. Losses jumped to $ 1.2 billion from $ 208 million.

BlackBerry halved operating expenses on an annualized basis, amounting to $ 229 million. Gross margin jumped from 43.3% to 60.1% due to complete abandonment of development and sales of mobile phones. The software business brought the Canadian vendor adjusted revenue of $ 193 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is 12.2% more than a year ago.

"We have adopted a long-term and thoughtful approach to our licensing strategy, which includes extensive cooperation with device manufacturers. With this in mind, we are working with a wide range of manufacturers to integrate the BlackBerry software into the company's brand and co-brand products", said the company’s CEO John Chen.

Last Friday, BlackBerry announced signing of licensing agreements for use of the BlackBerry brand with new partners. Under the terms of the signed agreements, the BlackBerry brand can be used for tablets, portable devices, home appliances, medical devices, payment terminals and other smartphones.

Ford is a key partner of the Canadian company. The auto giant is installing the BlackBerry QNX software into some of its vehicles. The Canadian company even opened a special research center for developing technologies for unmanned vehicles. The object called Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center is located in Ottawa (Canada). Local employees are engaged in development of software for the BlackBerry QNX, which is planned to be used in unmanned vehicles.

source: zdnet.com