BlackBerry posts US$636 million Q1 loss

BlackBerry QNX
BlackBerry QNX

BlackBerry Ltd. posted a US$636 million net loss in the first quarter ended May 31, as it recorded a non-cash accounting writedown related to its BlackBerry Spark unit.

The Waterloo-based company has a significant presence in Kanata primarily through its QNX division, which develops technology for connected and autonomous vehicles.

“BlackBerry QNX was impacted by macro headwinds in the auto and other embedded sectors but we are starting to see signs of a recovery,” said John Chen, BlackBerry’s executive chairman and CEO, in a statement. “On the enterprise front, we saw good demand from customers who recognized the necessity for BlackBerry’s security, business continuity, and productivity solutions in an increasingly remote working environment.”

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The company, which reports in U.S. currency, said the loss amounted to $1.14 per share.

That included a $594-million goodwill impairment primarily related to its BlackBerry Spark reporting unit, which provides tailored cybersecurity options for enterprises.

Chief financial officer Steve Rai told analysts the writedown was driven by the broad-based economic decline and its impact on BlackBerry’s market capitalization.

Revenue was $206 million, down from $247 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Under BlackBerry’s non-GAAP measures, it earned two cents per share with $214 million of revenue, including $8 million that can’t be recognized under U.S. accounting rules.

The company said it won’t provide estimates for the future given the current uncertainty.

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