Canadian Manufacturing

BlackBerry posts $117M loss for third quarter, forecasts 2017 comeback

Software and services business made up more than half of firm's revenue


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WATERLOO, Ont.—BlackBerry is reporting a third-quarter loss of US$117 million, the smallest of the current financial year.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company, which reports in U.S. currency, says the latest quarterly loss amounted to 22 cents per basic share before adjustments.

After adjustments, BlackBerry says it earned two cents per share for the quarter ended Nov. 30.

The adjusted profit was better than analyst estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters and BlackBerry says it now expects to be profitable for the full 2017 financial year, after the adjustments—an improved outlook from the company.

“We now expect to achieve non-GAAP EPS profitability for the full year, up from a prior range of breakeven to a five cent loss,” BlackBerry chairman and CEO John Chen said in a statement.

“This is the third consecutive quarter we have increased our EPS outlook, reflecting the traction we are achieving in our shift to a software business model.”

Revenue was $289 million under generally accepted accounting rules, down from $548 million a year earlier when BlackBerry posted an $89-million third-quarter loss, worth 17 cents per share.

Analysts had estimated an adjusted loss of one cent per share in the third quarter and $331 million of adjusted revenue for the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

Despite the year-over-year increase in BlackBerry’s net loss, before adjustments, it’s an improvement from the second quarter when the net loss was $372 million and the first quarter when the loss was $670 million.

Revenue for the quarter was $301 million with adjustments. About 55 per cent of that was from software and services—the company’s new focus under Chen’s leadership.

“We remain on track to deliver 30 per cent growth in company total software and services revenues for the full fiscal year,” Chen said in a statement before the company’s conference call with analysts.

Mobility Solutions, including BlackBerry’s dwindling handset business, generated 23 per cent of revenue and the remaining 22 per cent came from service access fees.

The shift in strategy away from smartphone hardware was in response to waning sales as competitors such as Samsung and Apple gained greater market share.

BlackBerry is also trying to position itself in the burgeoning market of self-driving vehicles, and on Monday it formally opened a research centre for autonomous cars in Ottawa.


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