Blackberry posts small profit despite shrinking revenue

CEO John Chen's efforts seem to be having a positive effect as the ailing company reported better than expected revenue and earnings for its first quarter.
By Ananth Baliga  |  June 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM
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WATERLOO, Ontario, June 19 (UPI) -- BlackBerry surprised market observers by posting a $23 million profits for the first quarter, after posting a loss of $423 million in the previous quarter.

The phone maker continues to face challenges as it struggles to stabilize sales. BlackBerry's earnings adjusted to exclude items such as non cash income related to the value of debentures and restructuring charges, resulted in a loss of 11 cents -- in other words, accounting adjustments helped the company post a profit.

The earnings report showed that Chairman and Chief Executive John Chen's cost cutting measures and efforts to focus on enterprise clients have resulted in some improvement in the company's performance this quarter.

"Over the past six months, we have focused on improving efficiency in all aspects of our operations to drive cost reductions and margin improvement," Chen said. "Looking forward, we are focusing on our growth plan to enable our return to profitability."

Revenue fell by one percent this quarter to $966 million, with the company reporting cash reserves of $3.1 billion up $429 million, up mostly on account of real estate sale and tax refunds. Some analysts, last year, predicted that the company would run out of cash before it could be turned around.

The company said that retailers and carriers sold 2.6 million phones, whereas wholesale sales accounted for 1.6 million handsets, up from 1.3 million phones. These numbers pale in comparison to Apple's, which sold 43.7 million iPhones in the last quarter. Chen has attempted to make BlackBerry more reliant on enterprise software and pay increased attention to government and corporate clients. This seems to be paying of as software and service sales produced 61 percent of BlackBerry's revenue.

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