BlackBerry stuns analysts with fourth quarter profit
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company, which formerly called itself Research In Motion (TSX:BB), reported a profit of US$98 million or 19 cents per share for quarter ended March 2, compared with $125 million or 24 cents per share loss a year ago.
Analysts had expected on average a loss of 29 cents per share, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.
During the quarter, BlackBerry shipped about one million smartphones on its new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The results were the first time BlackBerry provided details on how many of its new devices were shipped in regions like Canada and the U.K., though the total does not include sales from the U.S. launch last week.
About 55 per cent of customers who have bought the BlackBerry touchscreen phone are migrating from competitor’s devices, Heins said. However, overall shipments of BlackBerrys, which include older models, dropped to six million devices from 6.9 million in the third quarter.
BlackBerrys subscriber base, which had been growing until the third quarter, was also on the downswing with a decrease to 76 million from 79 million, a sign that more people ditched their Blackberry in favour of competitors’ phones.
The drop was mostly in North America and Europe, though it was partly offset by more subscribers in Latin America and Asia.
Revenue increased to $2.68 billion, coming in below expectations of $2.84 billion, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters.
“At this point, it’s cautious optimism,” said Colin Cieszynski, a market analyst at CMC Markets Canada of the results.
“They have still obviously have a long road to go to get back to where they were. They have very formidable competition but so far they seem to be doing OK.”
BlackBery also announced Thursday, co-founder Mike Lazaridis will step down as director of the company on May 1, though he has no plans to sell his large stake in the firm.
Lazaridis is the company’s second biggest shareholder with a 5.7 per cent stake.