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BlackBerry Beats Expectations With Sixth Straigth Quarter Earnings on Software Business

The Canadian firm also said on Friday it expects to be profitable on an adjusted basis for the second year in a row, and generate positive free cash flow in the year ending February 2018.

Reuters

Updated:April 1, 2017, 1:07 PM IST
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BlackBerry Beats Expectations With Sixth Straigth Quarter Earnings on Software Business
Blackberry reported better-than-expected earnings for sixth straight quarter. (Representational Image: News18.com)
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BlackBerry Ltd reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings for the sixth straight quarter, as the smartphone pioneer's shift to the higher-margin software business paid off.

The Canadian firm also said on Friday it expects to be profitable on an adjusted basis for the second year in a row, and generate positive free cash flow in the year ending February 2018.

The company's U.S. shares closed up 11.5 percent at $7.75 on Friday, and its Toronto-listed shares closed up 11 percent at C$10.30.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry has focussed on building a robust software business after scrapping production of its once-iconic smartphones, which lost favour with the arrival of sleek and fully touchscreen handsets.

The company outsourced the development of its smartphones last year, signing a deal with Indonesia's BB Merah Putih to make and distribute new BlackBerry-branded devices. It has also signed similar deals with China's TCL and India-based Optiemus Infracom Ltd.

Adjusted revenue from the software and services unit, which includes mobile device management products and the QNX industrial operating system, rose 12.2 percent to $193 million in the fourth quarter ended February 28, from the preceding quarter.



Also read: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Says Extra Falcon 9 Rocket Parts Recovered From Historic Launch

QNX is crucial to BlackBerry's efforts in the self-driving vehicle industry. The company already has a partnership with Ford Motor Co to develop autonomous driving software, and Chief Executive John Chen hopes to forge such deals with carmakers around the world.

On an adjusted basis, the company's total revenue was $297 million, beating analysts' average estimate of $289.3 million.

"They (Blackberry) put up a good quarter on the software revenue side, but if you dig a little deeper a lot of that beat was driven by relatively lumpy professional services revenue," Cavan Yie, portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management, told Reuters.

Yie said Manulife has stayed away from the stock due to Blackberry's lack of free cash-flow generation, but that could change given the "potential for good things to come out" of the software business.

Gross margin jumped to 60.1 percent in the quarter from 43.3 percent last year.

BlackBerry received more than 3,500 enterprise customer orders in the quarter, a 16.7 percent increase from the third quarter.

"Looking ahead to fiscal 2018, we expect to grow at or above the overall market in our software business," Chen said in a statement.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 4 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected the company to break even, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Operating expenses nearly halved to $229 million.

Also read: Oculus Co-founder Palmer Luckey Leaves Facebook
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra
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