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BlackBerry Shares Jump on Better-than-Expected Earnings

BlackBerry Shares Jump on Better-than-Expected Earnings

The Waterloo, Ont. -based company - which has been repositioning itself as a cybersecurity, software, and intellectual property supplier - is working with numerous automotive industry's major chip makers and parts suppliers.

"Our software are now embedded into a lot of the chipset or optimizers of people like Qualcomm", John Chen said in an interview Wednesday.

Sales in its BlackBerry Technology Solution group - which includes the QNX software used in auto infotainment units and self-driving vehicle systems - were flat at $43 million. But it's shifted into new areas. Because of how strong the first three fiscal quarters of the year were, BlackBerry management expects the result to be in the mid to high end of the provided range. While those deals are considered positive by analysts, Chen said they are not expected to generate revenue until 2019.

After years of firing hardware engineers, BlackBerry's employee base now looks like a software company, with about 1,200 salespeople in the field trying to get new customers to sign up.

The loss, reported in US currency, included $149 million in expenses after BlackBerry lost an arbitration of a dispute with Nokia.

The company reported adjusted earnings of 3 cents a share in the quarter ended November 30, better than the average analyst forecast for it to break even, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts on average had expected a break-even quarter on an adjusted earnings-per-share basis, according to Thomson Reuters. Total revenue came in at $235 million on a non-GAAP basis and $226 million on a GAAP basis.

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

Blackberry's turnaround is in full swing, and the company's CEO told Cheddar he's expanding its software, cybersecurity, and automotive services to drive growth in 2018.

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