How BlackBerry Won Big in Q4

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BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The company posted $0.02 in earnings per share (EPS) and $286 million in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for a net loss of $0.01 per share and revenue of $289.34 million. In the same period of last year, the company posted a net loss of $0.03 per share and $464 million in revenue.

During the latest quarter, the company entered into a long-term, software licensing agreement with Optiemus Infracom to design, manufacture, sell and support BlackBerry-branded mobile devices in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Another highlight during this quarter came from the Mobile World Congress, where TCL launched the BlackBerry KEYone, the most secure Android phone in the world, featuring a smart QWERTY keyboard. The KEYone is the first device launched under the company’s licensing agreement with TCL.

In terms of guidance, BlackBerry said that it expects to grow at or above the overall market in its software business. The firm also expects to be profitable on a non-GAAP basis and to generate positive free cash flow for the full year. The consensus estimates are $0.01 in EPS and $978.95 million in revenue for this fiscal year.

Total cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments increased by $89 million to approximately $1.7 billion, reflecting free cash flow of $16 million.

John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, commented:

I am pleased to report that our Q4 results came in at or above expectations in all major metrics. In the quarter, we continued to grow our mix of software and services revenue across the company. In turn, this allowed us to expand our operating margin and report positive free cash flow. In addition, our balance sheet continues to strengthen and benefit from reduced capital requirements with our focus on software and licensing.

Shares of BlackBerry closed Thursday down 0.9% at $6.95, with a consensus analyst price target of $7.92 and a 52-week trading range of $6.23 to $8.46. Following the announcement, the stock was up 8.5% at $7.54 in early trading indications Thursday.