Why BlackBerry Had Such a Strong Earnings Report

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BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The company broke even in terms of earnings per share for this quarter, on $352 million in revenue. The Thomson Reuters consensus estimates had called for a net loss of $0.05 per share on revenue of $393.75 million. In the same period of last year, it posted a net loss of $0.13 per share and $491 million in revenue.

In terms of the revenue breakdown for the quarter, 44% consisted of software and services, 26% for service access fees (SAF) and 30% for mobility solutions. BlackBerry had around 3,000 enterprise customer wins in the quarter. Roughly 81% of the second quarter software and services revenue was recurring.

During this quarter, the company went into a licensing agreement with telecom joint venture in Indonesia, BB Merah Putih, to manufacture, distribute and promote BlackBerry-branded devices running BlackBerry’s secure Android software and applications. This partnership will accelerate BlackBerry’s overall focus on driving software growth, specifically developing and licensing device software offerings, including security solutions and applications, through its Mobility Solutions business unit.

Also worth noting is that this joint venture was created in support of the Indonesian government’s efforts to promote the development, manufacturing and creation of locally sourced products, while also increasing the number of value-added LTE smartphones available and sold in the country.

BlackBerry announced a change in senior leadership in a separate release from the earnings report. The company appointed of Steven Capelli as chief financial officer. Capelli brings 25 years of executive experience in the software and technology industry. Most recently, Capelli was president of Worldwide Field Operations at Sybase with responsibility for $1 billion in annual revenue. Capelli also led international operations at Sybase as General Manager with responsibility for sales, operations, finance, customer support, marketing and human resources.

John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, commented on the outlook going forward:

We remain on track to deliver 30 percent revenue growth in software and services for the full fiscal year. We are revising upward our non-GAAP EPS outlook to a range of breakeven to a five cent loss, compared to the current consensus of a 15 cent loss. This reflects increased confidence based on improving margins and reduced interest expense from the recent refinancing of our debt, as well as planned investments in growth areas.

Consensus estimates for the fiscal year call for a net loss of $0.15 per share and $1.61 billion in revenue.

Shares of BlackBerry closed Tuesday at $7.88, with a consensus analyst price target of $7.42 and a 52-week trading range of $5.99 to $9.46. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 4.6% at $8.24 in early trading indications Wednesday.