With A Strong Earnings Report, BlackBerry Shows Signs Of Stabilizing
Accounting adjustments enabled BlackBerry, the troubled smartphone maker, to report on Thursday a $23 million, or 4 cents a share, profit for its last quarter. Without those noncash changes, however, the company lost $60 million during the period.
But the company's results for the first quarter of its fiscal year showed that severe cost-cutting and efforts to refocus the company by John S. Chen, its chairman and chief executive, may be at least stabilizing BlackBerry.
Revenue, which had been in free fall, declined only 1 percent compared with the previous quarter, to $966 million. Its cash rose by $429 million to $3.1 billion during the same time period, although that was mainly attributable to real estate sale and a tax refund. Without them, the company would have used up $255 million in cash. Late last year, some analysts speculated that the company might run out of cash before it could be turned around.
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Wholesale phone sales by the company rose to 1.6 million handsets, from 1.3 million in the previous quarter. But that number is modest in the extreme. The company said that retailers and carriers sold about 2.6 million phones, including many that had been lingering in warehouses and on shelves.
Those numbers are modest by industry standards. Apple sold 43.7 million iPhones during its last reported quarter, by comparison.
Mr. Chen said in a statement that the results were a sign that his plan was working.
'Over the past six months, we have focused on improving efficiency in all aspects of our operations to drive cost reductions and margin improvement,' Mr. Chen said. 'Looking forward, we are focusing on our growth plan to enable our return to profitability.'
Part of Mr. Chen's vision includes making BlackBerry more reliant on software and services than on the sales of phones. During the last quarter, software and service sales produced 61 percent of BlackBerry's revenue.