Aug. 19, 2015, 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.
Jul. 28, 2015, 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.
Jul. 24, 2015, 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.
Jul. 22, 2015, 1:21 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -1.2%) is acquiring AtHoc, provider of a software platform for delivering emergency alerts to PCs, mobile devices, and other hardware. Terms are undisclosed.
- BlackBerry: "The AtHoc platform will integrate with BlackBerry's enterprise portfolio and trusted global network to offer customers new capabilities ... new applications may include integrating AtHoc solutions with BBM Meetings during an alert to enable live video feeds or transmit messages to provide real-time collaboration by leaders and decision makers." John Chen: "AtHoc is an alerts system, but it also needs richer content and that can be provided by BlackBerry Messenger, which offers not just text, but voice, picture and video sharing, so we can provide a much richer experience to their clients."
- AtHoc's clients include the DOD and the Department of Homeland Security. Among other things, its platform sends alerts, collects event data from field personnel, helps organizations monitor the location/status of emergency personnel, and helps organizations share data during an event.
- The purchase follows BlackBerry's April acquisition of enterprise file-sharing/syncing platform WatchDox.
Jul. 13, 2015, 9:54 AM
- Carl Wiese, formerly a Cisco SVP in charge of sales and go-to-market strategy for the company's collaboration software business, has been named BlackBerry's (BBRY +0.5%) new president of Global Sales. He'll report to CEO John Chen.
- Before working at Cisco, Weise was an exec at Apple, Avaya, Lucent, and Texas Instruments. John Sims, who had been serving as president of Global Sales after being hired in late 2013 to be BlackBerry's enterprise services chief, has left the company.
Jul. 3, 2015, 5:27 PM
- Evan Blass (a.k.a. evleaks), responsible for leaking pictures of many soon-to-be-launched phones over the years, has posted an image render of a BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) Android phone codenamed Venice.
- Much like Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge, the Venice has a display with curved edges. The UI and app icons point to the use of Google's version of Android. Blass also reports (though it isn't clear from the render) the phone will have a slide-out keyboard - BlackBerry announced in March it's working on a slider with a curved display - and be sold by AT&T.
- Reuters reported on June 12 BlackBerry is thinking of launching a phone that runs on Google's version of Android, as part of its efforts to "pivot to focus on software and device management." BB10 phones support Android apps via Amazon's Appstore for Android, but don't have access to Google Play and various other Google mobile apps/services.
- BlackBerry recognized revenue on 1.1M phone sales in FQ1 (the May quarter), down from 1.3M in FQ4 and 1.6M a year earlier.
Jun. 25, 2015, 8:12 AM
- As part of its 12M-share buyback program (first announced in May), BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has filed "a notice of intention to commence a normal course issuer bid" with the Toronto exchange to begin repurchasing shares.
- Daily purchases are limited to 578.6K shares, save for block purchases. They can start on June 29, and will terminate by June 28, 2016.
- BlackBerry notes it hasn't bought back any shares in the last 12 months. With 529.5M shares outstanding as of June 22, the total buyback is good for repurchasing 2.3% of shares. John Chen reiterates the buyback's goal is to "offset dilution from our new employee share purchase plan and amended equity incentive plan."
- BBRY +0.6% premarket to $8.88.
- Recent BlackBerry earnings coverage
Jun. 23, 2015, 10:35 AM
- Up premarket after posting an FQ1 miss and announcing a Cisco licensing deal, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is now trading lower.
- On the CC (webcast), BlackBerry reiterated its $500M FY16 (ends Feb. '16) software revenue target (up ~100% Y/Y), as well as expectations services revenue will continue declining at a 15% Q/Q clip; a 50% Y/Y FY16 decline was previously forecast. The company also stated a licensing deal was signed with an unnamed company, in addition to Cisco.
- BGC's Collin Gillis notes licensing deals contributed to BlackBerry's 150% Y/Y increase in software/tech licensing revenue. "When the headline hits, you say 'wow they really blew out that software number, good for them, they're starting to get some traction.' But, of course, it's not truly $137 million because there is some licensing in there."
- FQ1 results, details/Cisco deal
Jun. 23, 2015, 8:25 AM
- In tandem with its FQ1 report, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has announced a patent cross-licensing deal with Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) that will result in BlackBerry getting a license fee; other terms are confidential. The company has also announced pharma industry exec Laurie Smaldone will replace Procter & Gamble vet Claudia Kotchka on the board.
- Segment performance: Though FQ1 revenue missed estimates, software/tech licensing revenue (closely watched) was strong, rising 150% Y/Y to $137M and totaling 21% of revenue vs. 10% in FQ4. Services (hurt by fee cuts) fell to 38% of revenue from FQ4's 47%, and hardware to 40% from 42%.
- Revenue was recognized on 1.1M phone sales, down from 1.3M in FQ4 and 1.6M a year ago; ASP rose $29 Q/Q to $240. 2,600 enterprise customer wins were recorded; 45% of software licenses for the deals were cross-platform.
- Geographic performance: Thanks to the software growth, North American revenue rose 3% Y/Y to $285M. EMEA revenue fell 41% to $245M, Latin America 66% to $42M, and Asia-Pac 43% to $86M.
- Financials: Cost cuts remain aggressive: R&D spend fell 41% Y/Y to $139M, and SG&A 56% to $174M. GAAP Gross margin was 47.1% vs. 48.2% in FQ4 and 46.7% a year ago; non-GAAP GM was 50.3%. The cash balance rose by $50M Q/Q to $3.32B; debt stands at $1.25B.
- Free cash flow was $123M. BlackBerry "continues to target sustainable non-GAAP profitability some time in fiscal 2016."
- Shares have risen to $9.70 premarket. They had sold off in the weeks going into earnings.
- FQ1 results, PR
Jun. 23, 2015, 7:01 AM
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Q1 EPS of -$0.05 misses by $0.02.
- Revenue of $658M (-31.9% Y/Y) misses by $25.65M.
- Shares +1.5% PM.
Jun. 22, 2015, 5:30 PM
Jun. 18, 2015, 3:54 PM
- RBC's Mark Sue, reiterating a Sector Perform and $11 target ahead of BlackBerry's (BBRY -2%) June 23 FQ1 report: "We're Street-low on revenue considering Classic/Passport sales aren't great, [service fee] declines are continuing (estimate -49% YoY) and software contribution is too small to offset." He forecasts FQ1 sales of $487M, well below a $690.4M consensus.
- Sue expects only 700K phone sales, down 46% Q/Q and 56% Y/Y. Software revenue is expected to total just $70M, before rising to $100M in FQ2 and $145M in FQ3 with the help of BES EZ Pass program conversions.
- Morgan Stanley's James Faucette (Underweight, $7 target), who recently argued BlackBerry's FY16 (ends Feb. '16) software target is unattainable, has reiterated his downbeat views today. "We continue to believe management will have to revise down FY16 revenue guidance if BBRY does not acquire significant revenue. Software ramp towards guidance remains in question."
- Scotiabank's Daniel Chan (Sector Perform, $12.50 target) is a little more positive, arguing long-term investors should "take a look" and that BES12 adoption will provide a lift. "Once ... organizations adopt BES12, we believe BB10 hardware sales will follow. These enterprise device sales will likely have a much fatter tail." Software sales are expected to accelerate in FQ2 after "[picking] up slightly" in FQ1.
- BlackBerry is lower on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.4%.
Jun. 12, 2015, 12:16 AM
- BlackBerrry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is thinking of launching its first phone to run on Google's version of Android, 4 sources tell Reuters. The decision is reportedly tied to BlackBerry's efforts to "pivot to focus on software and device management."
- BlackBerry is coming off an FQ4 in which end-user phone sales fell to 1.6M from 1.9M in FQ3 and 3.4M a year earlier; IDC estimates the company's smartphone OS share was down to 0.3% in calendar Q1. Meanwhile, BlackBerry has estimated it needs to sell 10M phones/year to break even on its hardware ops.
- As it is, BlackBerry has partnered with Samsung to provide security software/services for Samsung's Android hardware, and has launched plenty of cross-platform security and MDM solutions. BB10 phones support Android apps via Amazon's Appstore for Android, but don't have access to Google apps/services that are baked into Google's version of Android or distributed via the Play Store.
May 29, 2015, 2:21 PM
- Citing enterprise checks, Morgan Stanley's James Faucette (Underperform rating, $7 target) argues BlackBerry (BBRY -1.4%) goal of hitting a $500M/year software revenue run rate in FY16 (ends Feb. '16) appears unattainable.
- Faucette believes mobile device management (MDM) software has already been deployed for more than 50% of eligible devices, and perhaps as many as 75% on a dollar basis. "Remaining greenfield opportunities look increasingly limited and the recent survey by the MS Software team could suggest the market for stand-alone mobile security platforms is more limited than many would suppose."
- He adds checks indicate "MDM licenses from all vendors are being offered to carriers at significant wholesale discounts (as low as $2-$5 per month per device) as telcos aggressively bundle enterprise service agreements." As a result, he considers BlackBerry's $9/month ARPU target "unrealistic with its current offerings."
- Also: Morgan Stanley's checks indicate the conversion rate for BlackBerry's EZ Pass BES upgrade program is around 25%, and its CIO survey indicates BlackBerry is lagging MDM peers in evaluation opportunities.
- BlackBerry is off moderately. MKM and Goldman have previously offered cautious remarks about BlackBerry's near-term software sales. FQ4 software revenue totaled $67M (10% of total revenue).
May 22, 2015, 3:00 AM
- The pay package of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) Chief Executive John Chen fell significantly in fiscal 2015, dropping to $3.4M from $85.8M in fiscal 2014, largely because he didn’t benefit from a grant of restricted shares (that vest over five years) he received the year before.
- Chen was hired in November 2013 to turn around the company's fortunes after attempts under previous management to launch a new line of phones collapsed and an effort to sell the company failed.
- BBRY shares climbed 1.6% AH after launching a 12M share buyback.
May 21, 2015, 4:39 PM
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has launched a buyback good for repurchasing 2.6% of the float, and 2.2% of outstanding shares. The company's goal is to "offset dilution that may result from our proposed employee share purchase plan and from proposed amendments to our equity incentive plan."
- At current levels, buying back 12M shares would cost $126M. BlackBerry had $3.27B in cash at the end of its February quarter, and $1.7B in long-term debt.
- Shares have risen to $10.50 AH.