BlackBerry Beats Sales Estimates as Software Push Pays Off

(Bloomberg) -- BlackBerry Ltd. reported quarterly sales that beat analysts’ forecasts, extending a run of positive surprises on that metric to six quarters and signaling its reinvention as a software company is taking hold.

The company swung to a profit of $59 million in the quarter ended Nov. 30 from a loss of $275 million a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned 5 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 2 cents. Adjusted revenue in the third quarter was $228 million, compared with the average analyst projection of $215.7 million.

Key Insights

  • Enterprise software and services revenue, a key growth metric, was $98 million in the third quarter on an adjusted basis, according to a statement Thursday, down 7.5 percent from a year earlier. The company previously said it expects software revenue to underperform through fiscal 2019 due to a change in accounting standards.
  • BlackBerry has pivoted away from making phones in recent years, reinventing itself as a security software provider under Chief Executive Officer John Chen. The company offers a range of different product lines, such as systems to manage an entire stable of mobile phones, or to let cars securely update their entertainment systems.
  • The company reaffirmed its outlook for 2019. It expects total software and services revenue growth of between 8 percent and 10 percent and positive adjusted earnings per share.
  • The Waterloo, Ontario-based company is also looking to push into health care, Chen said earlier this year.

Market Reaction

The shares jumped 4.9 percent in New York to $7.71. BlackBerry is down 34 percent this year through Wednesday’s close.

Know More

  • BlackBerry announced last month that it’s acquiring cybersecurity company Cylance Inc. for $1.4 billion, to add artificial intelligence capabilities to its existing software products.
  • The deal is on track to close in February, although Chen said his discussions with customers have been limited since the company only received HSR antitrust clearance about a week ago.
    • "Nobody has said ‘I don’t understand what this is, can you explain more to me?’ They all understood what it is,” Chen said. “They’re more interested in ’okay, so how do you integrate it, where will you integrate it, when will we see it?”
  • For more details on the results, click here.
  • Read the statement here.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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