BlackBerry Earnings Not Escaping Slow Device Sales

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BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) reported third-quarter fiscal 2015 earnings before markets opened Friday. The smartphone maker reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.01 on revenues of $793 million. In the same period a year ago, BlackBerry reported an EPS loss of $0.02 on revenue of $1.19 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for an EPS loss of $0.05 and $931.53 million in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, the company’s net loss came to $0.28 per share, which the company attributed to a non-cash charge of $150 million for change in the fair value of certain debentures and $5 million in pretax restructuring charges. In the second quarter, BlackBerry posted a net loss of $0.39 due to larger charges for both these items.

The company sold approximately 2.0 million phones to its distribution channels in the quarter, down from 2.1 million in the prior quarter, and sell through to end-users totaled about 1.9 million units, a sequential decline from 2.4 million that includes shipments made and recognized prior to the third quarter and that reduced BlackBerry’s channel inventory.

Second-quarter revenue was down $123 million sequentially, after dropping $50 million from the first fiscal quarter to the second quarter. The portion of the company’s revenues that come from its Europe, Middle East and Africa region rose from 40.2% to 46.1% sequentially, while the percentage fell in North America from 32.4% to 26.9%.

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Here is BlackBerry’s outlook statement:

The Company continues to anticipate maintaining its strong cash position, while increasingly looking for opportunities to prudently invest in growth. The Company continues to anticipate break-even or better cash flow from operations.

The Company is expanding its distribution capability, and expects traction from these efforts to manifest some time in fiscal 2016. The company continues to target sustainable non-GAAP profitability some time in fiscal 2016.

The consensus estimates for the fourth quarter call for an EPS loss of $0.06 on revenues of $925.89 million. For the full year, analysts expect an EPS loss of $0.28 on revenues of $3.75 billion.

The company’s CEO said:

We achieved a key milestone in our eight quarter plan with positive cash flow. We also attained another important milestone in the release of our new enterprise software products and devices. Our focus now turns to expanding our distribution and driving revenue growth.

The bad news is the big revenue miss. That will weigh down the shares, at least until CEO John Chen gets to explain it all on the conference call.

Shares were down about 4.4% in premarket trading, at $9.63 in a 52-week range of $6.08 to $12.54. The consensus analyst price target was $9.70 before the results were announced. The stock closed at $10.07 on Thursday, indicating a lack of attention from the 29 analysts still covering the stock.

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