BlackBerry Reports Small Profit, Beats Analysts' Projections


BlackBerry Thursday reported a small profit in its fiscal first quarter ended May 31, as Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen works to revitalize the company he has led since November.

The Waterloo, Ontario, company, reported a profit of $23 million for the fiscal first quarter. BlackBerry had reported a loss of $423 million in the quarter ended March 1 and a loss of $84 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue dropped to $966 million from $976 million in the prior quarter but beat analysts' expectations of $963 million. BlackBerry also reported a loss of 11 cents a share after adjustments; analysts had projected a loss of 26 cents a share, according to Reuters. The company also said it reduced adjusted operating expenses by 57 percent from last year and 13 percent from last quarter.

[Related: BlackBerry Ups Consumer/Business Game With Amazon Appstore Deal, New Partner Program ]

“Our performance in fiscal Q1 demonstrates that we are firmly on track to achieve important milestones, including our financial objectives and delivering a strong product portfolio,” said Chen in the earnings release. “Over the past six months, we have focused on improving efficiency in all aspects of our operations to drive cost reductions and margin improvement. Looking forward, we are focusing on our growth plan to enable our return to profitability.”

One of the keys to that plan may revolve around BlackBerry’s deal with Amazon in which more than 240,000 Android apps will be available to BlackBerry 10 users this fall through the Amazon Appstore.

“I think what Chen is doing for running a company that size, at the end of the day they need to do what they need to do to survive,” said Rick Jordan, director of mobility sales at Tenet Computer Group, a Toronto-based solution provider and longtime BlackBerry partner. “They need to go back to their roots of the enterprise, security and the ecosystem. For the longest time they kind of forgot about that stuff. People want security and that’s what’s important. It’s a big ship that needs to turn, and once they find their path I can’t wait for it to be another Canadian success story and we hope to be part of it.”

BlackBerry also said it plans to unveil an enterprise application partner program for corporate developers, ISVs and systems integrators that it hopes will increase the volume of enterprise apps offered in BlackBerry 10.  

“We haven’t heard anything new on that,” said Jordan. “Our doors are always wide open. We would love to hear from BlackBerry. We've got developers, client base and 30 years experience. If they are willing to open the doors to the ecosystem, we would be happy to see the day."

PUBLISHED JUNE 19, 2014

PUBLISHED JUNE 19, 2014