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Friday, March 31, 2017
BlackBerry Posts Profit At Software Efforts Pay Off

BlackBerry reported adjusted earnings for the sixth straight quarter, indicating that the company's shift to the software business was the right choice.

The Canadian firm also said on Friday it expects to be profitable on an adjusted basis for the second year in a row, and generate positive free cash flow in the year ending February 2018.

BlackBerry has focused on building a robust software business after scrapping production of its smartphones, which lost favor with the arrival of touchscreen handsets.

The company outsourced the development of its smartphones last year, signing a deal with Indonesia's BB Merah Putih to make and distribute new BlackBerry-branded devices. It has also signed similar deals with China's TCL and India-based Optiemus Infracom Ltd.

Adjusted revenue from the software and services unit, which includes mobile device management products and the QNX industrial operating system, rose 12.2 percent to $193 million in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, from the preceding quarter.

The company has a partnership with Ford Motor to develop autonomous driving software, and CEO John Chen hopes to forge such deals with carmakers around the world.

BlackBerry received more than 3,500 enterprise customer orders in the quarter, an increase of 16 percent from the last quarter.

The company's net loss narrowed to $47 million in the fourth quarter, from $238 million a year earlier. Operating expenses nearly halved to $229 million. Revenue fell about 38 percent to $286 million.

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