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.
May 15, 2015, 3:58 PM
- U.K. financial blogger Betaville reports hearing Microsoft has asked Deutsche and Goldman to "examine whether it should purchase BlackBerry (BBRY +0.2%)." BlackBerry briefly shot higher on the report - shares were up as much as 7% at one point - but quickly gave back its gains.
- Betaville qualified its report by stating it's "market gossip that hasn't been tested through all formal journalistic channels (public relations executives, bankers etc)." To no one's surprise, Microsoft declined to comment.
- BlackBerry, of course, is 4 months removed from soaring on a Samsung acquisition rumor ... and coming back to Earth after the rumor was shot down by both companies. Lenovo rumors have also occasionally popped up.
May 8, 2015, 10:52 PM
- T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) had a public falling-out over the past year and a half -- but that was before the Un-Carrier got business religion. So the two are partnering again, with the carrier launching a BlackBerry Classic beginning next week.
- The device will sell for $440. While T-Mobile continued to support BlackBerry devices, it hasn't sold one in almost two years.
- BlackBerry CEO John Chen was there when T-Mobile started inducing customers to ditch their BlackBerrys for iPhones, and when he cut off their licensing agreement last April, he said "Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary." So what's the new stance?
- "A year ago, I couldn't have imagined this. But if being at the helm of BlackBerry has taught me anything, it's that a lot can change in a year," he writes. "And that two strong-willed executives who say what we think ... can meet on common ground."
- T-Mobile CEO Legere, for his part, took off his pink gear -- temporarily -- to dress in basic black.
- Previously: A shaky marriage officially ends: BlackBerry won't renew T-Mobile deal (Apr. 02 2014)
Apr. 24, 2015, 5:51 PM
- A BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) spokeswoman: "At this time, we are considering the closure of our offices in Sweden [and] since this may impact approximately 100 employees, we are now initiating consultations with the employees’ trade unions." The comments follow Swedish media reports stating BlackBerry is closing down its local software design ops.
- The company's Swedish design team stems from its 2010 acquisition of UI design firm The Astonishing Tribe (TAT). While the unit has contributed to a variety of products, much of the original TAT team has long departed.
- BlackBerry, of course, has already cut plenty of jobs over the last two years. Its R&D spend fell 46% Y/Y in the February quarter, and its sales/marketing/admin spend 52%. The company's global headcount is around 7K.
Apr. 21, 2015, 10:42 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -0.3%) is buying WatchDox, provider of an enterprise file-sharing/syncing platform that emphasizes security. Israel's Globes reports the purchase price is $100M; Geektime reports it's $150M.
- With the help of DRM, WatchDox's platform provides "full visibility and control over how files are edited, copied, printed or forwarded" across PCs and mobile devices, and lets companies remotely revoke access to or delete files. Hollywood studios looking to keep scripts from leaking are among the company's clients. Its HQ is in Palo Alto; R&D facilities are in Israel.
- BlackBerry plans to offer WatchDox's solutions, which can be used in on-premise, public cloud, and hybrid cloud deployments, as a value-added service that complements BES12. The deal follows the December launch of BlackBerry's $6/user/month Secure Productivity bundle.
- Major enterprise cloud storage/file-sharing platform owner Box (BOX -0.9%) is a notable rival. Box, which says it has sold to over 22% of the Global 2000, recently launched a key management service meant to give clients direct control over the encryption of data stored on Box's platform. It has also bought secure browser developer Subspace.
Mar. 30, 2015, 2:44 PM
- After rising 1.7% on Friday in response to the company's mixed FQ4 results, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has sharply reversed course today as more sell-side reactions to the numbers arrive.
- MKM (Neutral) is skeptical BlackBerry can hit an FY16 (ends Feb. '16) goal of doubling software revenue. "Software revenues came in at only $67mn in 4QFY15, including only ~$13mn in EZPass conversions ... We view the Software guidance as overly ambitious given the EMM competitive landscape. Moreover, Services revenues are expected to continue to decline ~15% per quarter throughout 2016..."
- Credit Suisse (Underperform): "We continue to see headaches for the services business, as we believe that (1) subscriber base will continue to erode, (2) ARPU will fall due to the shift toward BB10, (3) the monetization of EZ Pass remains difficult in a competitive MDM market environment ... we are also concerned that GM’s in the services segments may start to come down as revenue pressures persist ... We assume FY16/17 services revenues are $846/$467mn."
- UBS (Neutral): "[B]ased on current visibility and our own surveys, interest in BES12 and BBRY [value-added service] offerings remains low, and we remain doubtful BBRY will hit its [software] target. In the meantime, cost cuts and cash flow have stabilized business."
- RBC (Sector Perform) is relatively positive. "[QNX is] seeing connected car uptake. There’s strong enterprise interest for Work/Life and Meeting ... There’s some traction for hardware and Passport/Classic may be receiving decent reception ... ASPs improved to $211 vs. $180 in F3Q and are expected to trend higher, which coupled with COGS reductions, may increase hardware margins in F2H16."
- Friday's BlackBerry earnings coverage
Mar. 27, 2015, 11:20 AM
- Initially down premarket in response to its mixed FQ4 results, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is now moving higher.
- Hardware (lower-margin) was 42% of revenue in FQ4 vs. 46% in FQ3; services was 47% vs. 46%, and software was 10% vs. an 8% FQ3 contribution for software/other. John Chen stated on the CC software revenue grew 24% Q/Q and 20% Y/Y - the company has previously forecast its software revenue will double in FY16 (ends Feb. '16), and its services revenue fall by 50%.
- Gross margin fell to 48.3% from FQ3's 51.7% and the year-ago period's 56.7%. Sales/marketing/admin spend fell 52% Y/Y to $172M, and R&D spend 46% to $134M.
- North American revenue -31% Y/Y to $205M; EMEA -31% to $283M; Latin America -53% to $60M; Asia-Pac -20% to $112M. End-user phone sales fell to 1.6M from FQ3's 1.9M and the year-ago period's 3.4M.
- BlackBerry's cash balance rose by $156M Q/Q to $3.27B, thanks partly to an $80M net gain on acquisitions/divestitures. Long-term debt stood at $1.7B. The company still expects to reach "sustainable non-GAAP profitability" at some point in FY16.
- Initial sell-side reactions are cautious. RBC (Sector Perform) notes services revenue fell 15% Q/Q, and thinks the drop "may continue to sustain lingering concerns about BlackBerry’s declining subscriber base.” Multiple analysts observe phone shipments (1.3M) missed estimates. Cowen (Market Perform): "The magnitude of the Hardware miss suggests smartphones may prove a less significant F2016 growth driver than expected."
- Prior BlackBerry earnings coverage
Mar. 27, 2015, 9:13 AM
Mar. 27, 2015, 7:38 AM
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is all over the board after its FQ4 results, but currently down 3.8% as it comes off premarket trading halt.
- Previously: Cost cuts working at BlackBerry, but sales disappoint (March 27)
Mar. 27, 2015, 7:23 AM
- FQ4 operating income of $2M vs. a loss of $156M a year ago. EPS of $0.04 vs. a loss of $0.08. Normalized cash flow of $76M vs. a loss of $784M.
- Revenue of $660M vs. expectations for nearly $800M, with devices revenue of $277M vs. estimates for $444M, services revenue of $310M vs. $318M, software revenue of $66M vs. $68M.
- Revenue recognized on about 1.3M BlackBerry phones, with about 1.6M sold to end customers, with an ASP of $211 vs. $180 the previous quarter.
- BBRY is halted from premarket trade until 7:30 ET.
- Earnings call at 8 ET.
- Previously: BlackBerry beats by $0.09, misses on revenue (March 27)
Mar. 27, 2015, 7:01 AM
- BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Q4 EPS of $0.04 beats by $0.09.
- Revenue of $660M (-32.4% Y/Y) misses by $126.42M.
- Shares +1.3% PM.
Mar. 26, 2015, 5:30 PM
Mar. 14, 2015, 9:21 PM
- BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:BBRY) SecuTablet, launched in partnership with Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and IBM, is based on Samsung's Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Android tablet, and contains encryption and anti-eavesdropping tech developed by the company's German Secusmart unit (acquired last year). BlackBerry says the device could be available by this summer, and will sell for about $2,380.
- The tablet is aimed at enterprise and government clients with high-end security needs, and relies on app wrapping technology provided by IBM to silo consumer apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from secure apps. IBM will also assist in implementing Secusmart's solutions "within the infrastructures of the various clients inside the governmental sector."
- The launch comes a year after BlackBerry discontinued the (QNX OS-based) PlayBook following less-than-stellar sales, and four months after the company formed an alliance with Samsung to create security solutions for Samsung's Android hardware. Google gave its blessing to BES12 (along with other enterprise mobility management platforms) last month.
Mar. 9, 2015, 10:08 AM
- Believing the company will post a "sizable miss" for FQ4 (the February quarter) and that losses will widen in FY16 (ends Feb. '16), Goldman's Simona Jankowski has downgraded BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) to Sell, and cut her target by $1 to $9.
- Jankowski sees BlackBerry posting FY16 software revenue of $426M, well below a target of $500M (twice FY15's $250M); she cites Goldman surveys that "show very low buying intentions" for BES12, and notes the target implies BlackBerry will "leapfrog" market leaders such as VMware/AirWatch, MobileIron, and Good Technology in just a year, something viewed as unlikely "given the competitors’ much better traction."
- She expects services revenue (already forecast by BlackBerry to fall 50% in FY16) to drop 47% in FY16. "Significant upside" is seen for hardware revenue, but Jankowski dismisses hardware growth as "empty calories" due to a lack of related profits. Her FY16 EPS estimate of -$0.26 is well below a -$0.08 consensus.
- Goldman upgraded BlackBerry to Buy on Nov. 29, 2012 - the company was still known as RIM back then - when shares were at $11.10. FQ4 results arrive on March 27.
Mar. 3, 2015, 12:15 PM
- Like the Z3 (launched last year), BlackBerry's (BBRY +1.4%) Leap phone sports a 5" touch display (no physical keyboard), runs on BB10, and is aimed at emerging markets. However, the display resolution has been upgraded to 720p from 960x540, and the rear camera to 8MP from 5MP.
- A 4G modem is included, and an older, dual-core, 1.5GHz., Qualcomm processor powers the device. The phone will sell for ~$275 unsubsidized, and (like the Z3) initially go on sale in emerging markets such as Indonesia and Brazil.
- The Verge observes the Leap's specs are similar to those of Samsung's Galaxy S4 or HTC's One X. Engadget likes the design. "[T]he whole thing feels awfully Classicky; that is, dense and reassuring. Like its more expensive cousin, the Leap feels like a dense instrument instead of [a] gadget, something the Z10 definitely couldn't claim."
- BlackBerry has also announced it's working on a touchscreen phone with a slide-out keyboard and a "dual curved display" (echoes of Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge). Another keyboard phone is also in the works, as is a new Porsche-branded device.
- Yesterday: BlackBerry rallies following Sprint/Samsung deals, product launches
Mar. 2, 2015, 2:32 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY +3%) has announced Sprint is now reselling BES12 to enterprise clients, as well as BlackBerry's recently-launched BBM Meetings, BBM Protected, and BlackBerry Blend solutions for enterprises.
- Also: As part of the companies' existing partnership, BlackBerry states Samsung's KNOX mobile security platform will support BlackBerry's WorkLife mobile billing/expense management solution and its Secusmart unit's security products, and that the Galaxy S6 will be among the devices supporting an integrated BES12/KNOX solution.
- BlackBerry has also announced (like many other companies) a flurry of new products/services as the Mobile World Congress kicks off. They include: 1) New BBM features, including support for custom PINs (they cost $1.99/month), iOS password protection, and Android Wear support. 2) An encrypted calling service (offered via Secusmart) for Vodafone Germany subscribers. 3) BES monitoring software from partners GSX and ISEC7.
- Shares are adding to the gains they saw last week following BlackBerry's Android for Work announcement.