How BlackBerry Came Out on Top Despite Weak Earnings

BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) reported its fiscal first-quarter earnings Tuesday before the market opened as a net loss of $0.05 per share on $658 million in revenue. That compared to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates of a net loss of $0.03 per share on $679.06 million in revenue. In the same period of the previous year, BlackBerry posted a net loss of $0.11 per share on $966.00 million in revenue.

The company continues to anticipate positive free cash flow and to target sustainable non-GAAP profitability some time in fiscal 2016.

Just after the earnings release, BlackBerry announced that it had entered into a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement with Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) covering their respective products and technologies. As part of the cross-licensing agreement, BlackBerry will receive a license fee from Cisco. Specific terms of the deal are confidential.

The BlackBerry board of directors appointed a new member Tuesday morning as well. Laurie Smaldone Alsup, M.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of PharmApprove, was named a director effective after the annual shareholder meeting Tuesday. Alsup will also serve as a member of the audit and risk management committee of the board of directors, taking over from current director Claudia Kotchka.

Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen commented on earnings:

Our financials reflect increased investments to sales and customer support for our software business. In addition, we are taking steps to make the handset business profitable. We believe these actions are prudent and necessary to grow the business and we believe the remaining milestones in our strategic plan are achievable.

At the end of the quarter, BlackBerry had a cash and investments balance of $3.32 billion, an increase of $50 million from the fiscal fourth quarter.

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Shares of BlackBerry closed Monday up 3.3% at $9.20. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were up 8.7% at $10.00 in early trading indications Tuesday. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $9.07 and a 52-week trading range of $8.59 to $12.63.

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