BlackBerry shares surge after firm reports better-than-expected revenues

John Chen
John Chen

BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB) lost US$275 million in its third quarter, although its revenue and adjusted earnings were better than analysts were expecting.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based technology company, which reports in U.S. dollars, says the net loss included $149 million in expenses after BlackBerry lost an arbitration of a dispute with Nokia.

But BlackBerry, which has a sizeable presence in Ottawa, says its adjusted profit, excluding the Nokia payments and other items, was $16 million or three cents per share.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

Analysts on average had expected a break-even quarter on an adjusted-per-share basis, according to Thomson Reuters.

BlackBerry’s revenue was also higher than expected at $226 million, but down from $289 million a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected $214.6 million in revenue.

“We had a very strong quarter and I’m very pleased with our results,” BlackBerry executive chairman John Chen said on a conference call with analysts.

He said that some of the progress was through agreements with Tier-1 autoparts suppliers and with chip manufacturers that won’t immediately have an impact on BlackBerry’s revenue.

“Some of the design wins we had last year will turn into revenue in 2019 and the wins that we are having right now are going to turn into (revenue) in 2020,” Chen said.

Chen said growth in the overall automotive industry is expected to be slower for a couple of years before picking up again when autonomous vehicles become more of a factor.

BlackBerry’s shrinking revenue is mostly due to its exit from the hardware portion of its legacy smartphone business, which has been only partially offset by increased revenue from software, services and licensing revenue.

Revenue from handheld devices dropped to $9 million, from $62 million, and revenue from system access fees dropped to $27 million from $67 million.

Revenue from software, services and licensing was $190 million, a record for the company, and up from $160 million last year.

Enterprise software and services accounted for $97 million of that, up from $87 million in last year’s third quarter. Licensing fees accounted for $50 million, up from $30 million, while revenue at BlackBerry Technology Solutions – which includes that embedded automotive software products – was unchanged at $43 million.

BlackBerry’s shares surged on Wednesday, climbing C$1.62, or 11.6 per cent, to $15.59.

Get our email updates

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.