Tue, Nov. 17, 3:36 AM
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is expecting to post a profit next year, helped by the launch of its Priv model, as the company recovers from a bruising few years that saw it lose its dominant position in the smartphone market.
- "The company is doing reasonably well now, from a financial standpoint, so now our focus is to grow our businesses," CEO John Chen told CNBC in Manila. "We still have very high fixed costs but [handset] profitability will come next year."
- For the three months ended August 29, BlackBerry reported a quarterly loss of $66M.
Fri, Nov. 6, 5:33 PM
- [M]aybe, just maybe, it isn’t too late for BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)," writes the WSJ's Joanna Stern after trying out the Priv. "As Samsung, LG and other Android titans focus on making phones ever-so-slightly thinner, faster and better at taking photos, the Priv’s slide-out physical keyboard, long battery life and focus on privacy—hence the dumb name—stand apart from those. It even challenges Apple’s ruling iPhone. A few performance issues aside, the Priv is the first BlackBerry in years that I have loved using—and that I can recommend."
- Stern found typing via the Priv's keyboard ~20% faster than typing on the iPhone, and likes its 2K OLED display. She also declares BlackBerry's Android apps and UI tweaks, such as its DTEK security suite and the ability to swipe up on an icon to see its widget, "actually make Android better." One point of criticism: Some app functions remained "inexcusably slow."
- Engadget's Daniel Cooper gives the Priv a score of 77/100. He calls the phone "probably the best-looking BlackBerry ever," and considers its UI "more elegant" than stock Android. However, they keyboard is deemed "slightly lackluster."
- Cooper also wonders how large the market for QWERTY smartphones remains: "The fact that a company in 2015 is making a pretty decent Android smartphone with a keyboard deserves plenty of praise, because people do still crave them. I just can't imagine anyone who has become inured to using an on-screen keyboard will consider dropping seven hundred big ones to go back to how it was."
- BlackBerry made it above $8 today for the first time since July. Shares are still down 27% YTD.
- Other reviews: The Verge, Android Central, Tom's Guide, TechCrunch
- Earlier: BlackBerry begins shipping Priv Android phone
Fri, Nov. 6, 4:50 AM
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) will start shipping its first Android powered smartphone today, called the Priv, marking the fourth new device released under the leadership of CEO John Chen.
- Standout features include a 5'4" curved display, an 18 MP dual-flash camera and a slide out physical QWERTY keyboard. The device is priced at a steep $699 (unsubsidized).
- A little too late? According to IDC, the once-dominant smartphone maker doesn't even hold 1% of the world-wide market now.
- Previously: U.K. pre-orders begin for BlackBerry's Priv Android phone; specs confirmed (Oct. 19 2015)
Mon, Nov. 2, 9:50 AM
- BlackBerry's (BBRY +0.4%) $425M purchase of fellow enterprise mobility management (EMM) software vendor Good Technology is officially on the books. BlackBerry reiterates it expects Good to produce ~$160M in GAAP revenue (accounts for a deferred revenue write-down) in the first year after closing.
- John Chen: "The Good and BlackBerry solutions are very complementary ... Combined, BlackBerry solves one of the biggest challenges for CIOs - to securely manage all types of deployment models for any device operating system platform, whether on-premise or in the cloud." An IDC analyst is quoted as saying Good "brings additional value to the BlackBerry platform by offering strong application containerization on iOS and Android, and will provide solutions to containerize custom and third-party applications."
- The deal generally saw positive reactions when announced in September, with analysts praising Good's large enterprise base (over 6,200 organizations), iOS positioning, and developer ecosystem. Some questions were raised about the challenges involved in integrating Good's platform with BES.
Mon, Oct. 19, 1:51 PM
- U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse has begun taking pre-orders for BlackBerry's (BBRY +0.4%) Priv Android phone. The device, slide-out keyboard/touchpad and all, goes for a steep £579.99 ($899) unsubsidized. Monthly payment plans start at £49/month ($76/month). Delivery is promised by Nov. 6.
- Carphone has also confirmed the Priv's specs. The phone has a curved 5.4" 2K OLED display, an 18MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, a 2MP front camera, a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a large 3,410mAh battery. (promo video)
- BlackBerry is hoping the Priv, which pairs Google's version of Android (and all the Google apps/services bundled with it) with BlackBerry apps/services, will carve out a niche with keyboard enthusiasts and high-end enterprise/government users. The company recognized revenue on just 800K phones in FQ2 (the August quarter), down from 1.1M in FQ1 and 2.1M a year ago.
- John Chen has suggested BlackBerry could exit the smartphone market if it doesn't sell 5M phones/year, the level he considers necessary for the company's smartphone ops to be profitable.
Tue, Oct. 13, 11:25 AM
- Wayne G. Wouters, formerly Canada's Clerk of the Privy Council (its senior civil servant), is joining BlackBerry's (BBRY +1.6%) board. He'll serve on the audit and risk management committee.
- Wouters increases the size of BlackBerry's board to eight. Seven of the directors are declared to be independent members (John Chen is the other). Selling to government agencies, of course, remains a priority for BlackBerry.
Fri, Sep. 25, 9:39 AM
- Dubbed Priv, the phone - complete with slide-out keyboard - is due out at the end of 2015. Priv, of course, is short for privacy, and that's what this new phone is all about. CEO John Chen: "Priv will be the solution for smartphone users who are learning daily of the lack of privacy they have on their current devices."
- Chen adds the company remains committed to its own BlackBerry 10, and says a new update is coming early next year.
- After spending $47M buying back 6M shares last quarter, the company announces an additional 15M share repurchase plan.
- BBRY -2.2%
- Previously: BlackBerry sinks after weak quarter (Sept. 25)
- Previously: BlackBerry misses by $0.04 (Sept. 25)
Fri, Sep. 25, 7:30 AM
- FQ2 revenue of $490M was well short of the $611M estimate. Hardware revenue of $200M vs. $263M consensus, with the company recognizing revenue on just 800K smartphones at an ASP of $240.
- Software revenue of $74M vs. $100M consensus and Services revenue of $210M vs. $227M.
- Gross margin of 37.8% vs. 48.5% estimate.
- Total cash of $3.35B (net cash of $2.1B) at quarter-end, up $37M from three months earlier. 6M shares bought back during quarter for $47M.
- Company anticipates modest sequential revenue growth for the rest of fiscal 2016.
- Previously: BlackBerry misses by $0.04 (Sept. 25)
- Conference call at 8 ET
- BBRY -7.5% premarket
Fri, Sep. 25, 7:03 AM
Thu, Sep. 24, 5:30 PM
Thu, Sep. 17, 5:54 PM
- John Chen: "We have today about 44,000 patents. The good thing about this is that we also have one of the youngest patent portfolios in the entire industry, so monetization of our patents is an important aspect of our turnaround."
- He cautions BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) needs to avoid alienating potential partners along the way. "If you go too far and become too aggressive, you become a [patent] troll ... If you want to go about monetizing your patents in a non-aggressive, legal way then it takes time, and in a turnaround time is one of the key commodities you don't have, so balancing those two is very difficult."
- BlackBerry's FQ1 (May quarter) software/licensing revenue rose 150% Y/Y to $137M (21% of total revenue), thanks to licensing deals with Cisco and an unnamed company. FQ2 results arrive on Sep. 25.
Fri, Sep. 4, 5:58 PM
- "With the majority of Good’s customers using iOS or Apple devices, we view this acquisition as positive for BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) ability to broaden its customer reach, especially with our survey work indicating ongoing share gains for Apple in the enterprise market," writes Canaccord's Mike Walkley about BlackBerry's $425M deal to buy enterprise mobility management (EMM) software rival Good Technology. "[Good] should also help BlackBerry build on its two new technology licensing deals announced last quarter."
- At the same time, Walkley notes some of Good's revenue comes from BlackBerry licensing payments, and argues BlackBerry still "faces the challenging task of selling not just EMM subscriptions but must also upsell increasing amounts of [value-added services] and close additional technology licensing deals to meet its [FY16] software-related sales target."
- Morningstar's Brian Colello: "Good ... has been a leader in EMM for quite some time, as evidenced by Gartner’s rating of Good as a 'Leader' in its magic quadrant for EMM in June 2015 (versus a 'Niche Player' rating for BlackBerry). We anticipate that the combination will lead to more advanced products and a growing customer base over time." In addition to Good, IBM, Citrix, VMware (AirWatch), and MobileIron are in Gartner's Leaders quadrant.
- UBS' Amitabh Passi: "Good serves more than 6,200 organizations, with particular strength in Government, [aerospace & defense], healthcare, and commercial banks. Good with its Good Dynamics platform will also bring access to over 2000 independent software vendor (ISV) apps."
- VentureBeat's Jack Gold notes questions remain about integrating Good's platform with BES. "BlackBerry does have experience here with its many recent acquisitions, but Good has much more technology to integrate than the previous acquisitions did, and far more overlap in capabilities. And the cultures of the two companies are different ... I expect [integration] will be successful given [John Chen's] track record, but it may not be without some 'potholes' along the way."
- After opening higher in response to the deal, BlackBerry closed down 2.4% amid a 1.1% Nasdaq drop. M&A hopes helped BlackBerry/Good rival MobileIron (NASDAQ:MOBL) rise 3.9%.
Fri, Sep. 4, 8:08 AM
- "By acquiring Good, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) will better solve one of the biggest struggles for CIOs today, especially those in regulated industries: securely managing devices across any platform," says CEO John Chen.
- The $425M cash deal is expected to close near the end of 2016 FQ3, and should be accretive to earnings and cash flow within the first year after closing. BlackBerry expects to realize about $160M in GAAP revenue in year one from Good.
- A conference call is set for 8:30 ET.
- Source: Press Release
- Shares +4.2% premarket
Wed, Aug. 19, 4:37 PM
- Six weeks after leaking a photo render of BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:BBRY) Venice Android phone, Evan Blass (a.k.a @evleaks) reports the phone will launch on all 4 major U.S. carriers this November, slide-out keyboard and all.
- Blass has also posted new pictures of the phone, replete with icons for Google Play and various other Google apps/services not currently available on BB10 phones, which support many non-Google Android apps via Amazon's Appstore for Android.
- The news comes less than a month after John Chen suggested BlackBerry could launch only 1-2 phones per year going forward, while focusing on high-end enterprise and government users. The company recognized revenue on just 1.1M phone sales in the May quarter.
Tue, Jul. 28, 11:55 AM
- "While there is no evidence of a fundamental business turnaround, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has flexibility with cash and opportunity for op-ex cuts that create value," writes Morgan Stanley's James Faucette, upgrading to Equal-weight. “The company still has significant opportunity to add to that cash balance through headcount reductions or other reallocation of resources.”
- Faucette still doubts (previous) BlackBerry will hit FY16 (ends Feb. '16) software and messaging revenue goals of $500M and $100M. However, he thinks reaching $400M in software revenue is possible, and that this would translate into a $3-$3.50/share valuation for BlackBerry's software ops at 4x-5x sales. The cash balance is worth another $3.50-$3.75/share.
- Shares are up sharply. They fell to new 52-week lows last Friday after John Chen suggested BlackBerry is 12-18 months away from seeing major traction for its turnaround efforts.
Fri, Jul. 24, 11:50 AM
- Though his initial timeline suggested BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) would now be about 6 months away from seeing major traction for its turnaround efforts, John Chen now states the company is 12-18 months away.
- Chen nonetheless says he's "pretty satisfied" with turnaround progress to date. "I laid out the $500 million software revenue target and I'm still comfortable with that commitment for this fiscal year, it looks good ... We're patiently building the product pipeline and the sales channel."
- In the wake of fresh job cuts (size undisclosed), Chen also leaves the door open to BlackBerry fully exiting the smartphone market, albeit while adding "the most ideal case" is to discontinue low-end hardware and keep developing high-end devices for professionals and government workers. "Traditionally, we make four phones a year. We are not going to do that anymore. We are going to at least cut it down to a lot less number, maybe two, maybe one."
- BlackBerry has made new 52-week lows. Shares -34% YTD.
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