Canadian Manufacturing

Blackberry posts wider-than-expected loss, sees shares dip

Company's growth in software fails to impress shareholders

TORONTO—Blackberry has released its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2016. The company reported a loss of 5 cents per share, which was significant improvement over an 11 cents per share loss a year ago, but slightly wider than analysts had expected.

“I am pleased with the strong performance of our software and technology business. This is key to BlackBerry’s future growth,” executive chairman and CEO John Chen said in a statement.

“Our financials reflect increased investments to sales and customer support for our software business. In addition, we are taking steps to make the handset business profitable. We believe these actions are prudent and necessary to grow the business and we believe the remaining milestones in our strategic plan are achievable,” he added.

The company’s shift toward software has been one of few recent bright spots for the Canadian tech giant. The US$137-million in software and technology licensing revenue Blackberry received represents an increase of 150 per cent from last year.

Blackberry has faced a steep decline over the past few years. From an earnings perspective, the company reported $658-million in revenue, compared to $660-million last quarter and more than $5-billion during its heyday in 2011.

Though the company insists it is not shifting away from the hardware business entirely, stockholders remain uneasy about the future of the once dominant market player. Blackberry shares closed down almost 4 per cent after it announced its results.

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