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Software a Bright Spot in Otherwise Dim Quarter for BlackBerry

CEO John Chen reiterated that the company should turn sustainably profitable in the coming year.

Asa Mathat

BlackBerry’s overall earnings report continued to show year-over-year declines, but improvements on the software side offered some reason for optimism.

The company said it posted $137 million in software and technology licensing revenue, up 150 percent from a year ago.

CEO John Chen has set a goal of hitting $500 million in software revenue this year.

“I am pleased with the strong performance of our software and technology business,” CEO John Chen said in a statement. “This is key to BlackBerry’s future growth.”

The company also announced a patent cross-license deal with Cisco.

Overall, BlackBerry posted revenue of $658 million, with a per-share loss of five cents, excluding various items. The company had $966 million in revenue in the year-ago quarter, with a per-share loss of 11 cents, excluding items.

Chen said the company is taking actions to make its phone business profitable, including deals announced Tuesday to rely more heavily on outside manufacturers to build its products. In addition to an existing pact with Foxconn, BlackBerry said it will work with Compal and Wistron — two other contract manufacturers.

“We believe these actions are prudent and necessary to grow the business and we believe the remaining milestones in our strategic plan are achievable,” Chen said.

BlackBerry reiterated that it hopes to turn sustainably profitable at some point in its current fiscal year, which runs through the end of February.

Shares of BlackBerry traded both higher and lower in the wake of the earnings report, changing hands recently at $8.99, down 21 cents, or more than 2 percent.

This article originally appeared on

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