Wed, Feb. 25, 1:51 PM
- Starting tomorrow, Verizon will sell BlackBerry's (BBRY +0.5%) high-end Classic QWERTY phone online for a subsidized $99, after factoring a $50 rebate debit card. The device becomes available in Big Red's stores on March 5.
- AT&T already offers the Classic, which was launched by BlackBerry in December to mixed reviews for an unsubsidized $449. Business Insider provided the phone with some positive ink today, praising its Android app support (via Amazon's Appstore), low subsidized pricing, and full QWERTY keyboard (the Passport has an abbreviated keyboard).
- BlackBerry is coming off a November quarter in which an estimated 1.9M phones were sold to end-users, down from 4.3M a year earlier. The company has said it needs to sell 10M annually to break even on hardware sales.
Tue, Feb. 10, 2:53 PM
- Dave Kleidermacher, until recently the CTO of embedded systems software vendor Green Hills, has been named BlackBerry's (BBRY +0.1%) chief security officer. Among other things, he'll be in charge of "security-specific research and product development, and BlackBerry's product certification and approval program."
- BlackBerry is 8 months removed from buying German mobile encryption/anti-eavesdropping tech developer Secusmart, and two months removed from unveiling a Secure Productivity Suite containing a VPN authentication service, a secure version of BBM, and the BlackBerry Blend remote PC/tablet data access solution. Android-focued security partnerships have been formed with Samsung and Boeing.
- John Chen has leaned heavily on outside talent to shake up BlackBerry's executive ranks since becoming CEO.
Fri, Feb. 6, 2:04 AM
- The SEC and the Ontario Securities Commission are investigating whether a recent Reuters report about a possible $7.5B purchase of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) by Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) was sparked by investor intent on pumping the Canadian smartphone maker’s stock.
- BlackBerry shares, which closed on Jan. 13 at $9.71, shot up 30% on the news to close at $12.60 on Jan. 14, its biggest one-day gain in years.
- Shortly after the rumor, both companies denied holding talks for such a deal.
- Previously: BlackBerry denies talking with Samsung about buyout offer (updated) (Jan. 14 2015)
- Previously: More on BlackBerry/Samsung (updated) (Jan. 14 2015)
- Previously: BlackBerry +20.9%; Samsung reportedly approached about takeover (Jan. 14 2015)
Thu, Jan. 22, 9:15 AM
Wed, Jan. 21, 7:29 PM
- Though both companies have issued statements denying M&A talks, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is "actively pursuing a plan to take over or buy a significant stake in BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)," Canada's Financial Post reports.
- The paper has obtained a document prepped for Samsung by i-bank Evercore that "outlines the case for, and the potential structure of a possible purchase of BlackBerry." Though the doc was created in Q4 2014, a source says Samsung remains interested. “I can tell you Samsung is contemplating a purchase. It’s still being pursued right now. Samsung is still evaluating their options."
- BlackBerry soared a week ago after Reuters reported Samsung had proposed buying the company for a price between $13.35-$15.49/share. Shares quickly gave back most of their gains after BlackBerry denied having talked with Samsung about a buyout offer. Samsung later provided its own denial.
- BlackBerry has jumped in AH trading to $10.65.
Thu, Jan. 15, 12:45 PM
Thu, Jan. 15, 9:16 AM
Wed, Jan. 14, 5:38 PM
- In response to Reuters' report, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) says it "has not engaged in discussions with Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry."
- BBRY -11.2% AH. Shares are still up 15% from yesterday's close.
- Update: The Globe and Mail reports BlackBerry has "shunned a handful of takeover overtures in recent months as its board of directors and largest investor continues to support a restructuring strategy that they expect will deliver greater shareholder value than current acquisition offers."
Wed, Jan. 14, 4:14 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) proposed acquiring BlackBerry (BBRY +29.8%) for a price between $13.35-$15.49/share, according to a Reuters source. BlackBerry closed yesterday at $9.71, and has closed today at $12.60. Shares are up another 3.2% AH to $13.02.
- According to documents, Samsung's proposed acquisition range implies an enterprise value of $6B-$7.5B, after factoring $1.25B in convertible debt. Execs from both companies reportedly met last week.
- Reuters states Samsung is interested in BlackBerry's patent portfolio. BlackBerry could also mesh with Samsung's efforts to grow its enterprise presence, strengthen its embedded/IoT offerings, and (though this is easier said than done) lower its Google dependence. The companies announced a BES12-focused enterprise partnership in November.
- Previously: Samsung reportedly approached BlackBerry about acquisition
- Update: BlackBerry denies having talked with Samsung about a buyout offer.
Wed, Jan. 14, 3:50 PM
Tue, Jan. 13, 4:05 PM
- Believing near-term Classic sales are lower than previously expected, Baird's William Power has cut his FQ4 (Feb. quarter) BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) revenue and EPS estimates to $746.3M and -$0.03 from $937.3M and $0.00. Consensus is at $860.1M and -$0.03.
- Power: "We had previously assumed greater Classic device contribution in fiscal Q4, though following conversations at CES, it appears that much of that revenue may not be recognized until fiscal Q1." He now expects just 1.6M FQ4 phone sales; BlackBerry recognized revenue on 2M phones in FQ3, and had end-user phone sales of 1.9M.
- Meanwhile, Canaccord's Mike Walkley has lowered his FY15 BlackBerry sales and EPS estimates to $3.4B and -$0.21 from $3.45B and -$0.18. Regarding the Classic, he reports seeing "pockets of solid sales offset by soft initial sales in the U.S. market."
- Walkley does think FQ4 could "mark the low point for hardware sales." But he also expects BlackBerry "will continue to post operating losses through [FY16] given the steep decline in the higher margin Services business only partially offset by growing Software sales."
- Shares fell 4.2% in regular trading to $9.70.
Thu, Jan. 8, 2:51 PM
- Following a talk with management, Wells Fargo's Maynard Um has slashed his FQ4 BlackBerry (BBRY -0.4%) revenue and EPS estimates to $721.1M and -$0.05 from $783.8M and -$0.03. Consensus is at $845.6M and -$0.03.
- Um, who maintains a Market Perform rating, does think "management continues down the right path having refocused the company, renewed its portfolio and now focusing on rebuilding distribution." However, he also believes software revenue will take time to ramp, and that product visibility remains low.
- Um's note follows the launch BlackBerry's IoT Platform at CES, as well as remarks from John Chen stating BBM could produce $100M in revenue in FY16 (ends Feb. '16). New premium BBM features were rolled out in October, and enterprise bundles containing BBM services (among other things) were launched in December.
- Shares are off slightly on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.9%.
Wed, Jan. 7, 2:42 PM
- BlackBerry's (BBRY - unchanged) IoT Platform, launched today at CES, pairs the company's QNX OS with its network infrastructure and management software. The solution is initially targeted at the automotive and asset-tracking industries.
- Features include software modules that enable data collection and device management, and a messaging system that "serves as the message bus for additional platform modules by delivering reusable services" such as security, data indexing/storage, and analytics.
- The IoT Platform has its roots in BlackBerry's Project Ion, launched last year with the goal of creating an analytics/data collection infrastructure for embedded devices. Last summer, BlackBerry announced plans to provide a healthcare service that would rely on data from medical devices to enable the early detection of illnesses. Cisco, Intel, AT&T, and Verizon are among the other companies with a strong interest in enabling IoT service infrastructures.
- Speaking of AT&T, BlackBerry has announced a slightly redesigned version of the Passport (it has rounded corners) will exclusively be sold in the U.S. by Ma Bell. John Chen: "AT&T wanted rounded corners. Some of us are more square. No other reason than that." AT&T will also soon begin selling the BlackBerry Classic.
Dec. 22, 2014, 9:48 AM
- "BlackBerry is effectively transitioning to a cross-platform software/services company. In this context, the device business should not be banked on to generate profit," says TD Securities, upgrading BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) to Buy after the company reported mixed FQ3 results, a 56% Y/Y drop in end-user phone sales, and a ~100% Q/Q increase in BES10 licenses.
- TD sees BlackBerry shipping 8.9M phones in FY16 (ends Feb. '16) - less than the 10M the company has said it needs to turn a profit on hardware - at a 15% gross margin. ~75% of FY16 gross profit is expected to come from software and legacy services.
- BlackBerry has forecast its software revenue will double in FY16, and that its services revenue will fall by 50%. Shares are now above where they traded prior to the FQ3 report.
- Also: BlackBerry has disclosed it's partnering with Boeing to "provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices" that leverages BES12. The solution is tied to Boeing's ultra-secure Black phone (meant for U.S. defense/security clients).
- BlackBerry earnings coverage
Dec. 19, 2014, 2:43 PM
- Deja vu: Three months after gradually moving higher after posting an FQ2 revenue miss and EPS beat, BlackBerry (BBRY -1.4%) is doing the same after delivering a similar FQ3 performance.
- An improving gross margin contributed to the EPS beat: GM rose to 51.7% from 46.4% in FQ2. GM was at -106% a year ago (the result of a massive phone inventory charge).
- Cost cuts also helped: GAAP R&D spend fell 17% Q/Q and 48% Y/Y to $154M; SG&A spend fell 12% Q/Q and 68% Y/Y to $538M. BlackBerry "continues to target sustainable non-GAAP profitability some time in fiscal 2016." The FY16 (ends Feb. '16) EPS consensus is at -$0.20.
- Hardware was 46% of revenue, services 46%, and software/other 8% - the same as FQ2. End-user phone sales fell to 1.9M from 2.4M in FQ2 and 4.3M a year earlier. BlackBerry has said it needs to sell 10M phones annually to break even on hardware.
- Cowen (Market Perform) likes BlackBerry's margin improvement and BES license growth - ahead of the BES12 launch, BES10 licenses roughly doubled Q/Q to 6.8M, aided by the EZ Pass migration program (to be ended soon). "Software growth remains the critical driver of the long-term turnaround."
- S&P (Hold): "We are encouraged by a return to positive cash flow, reflecting margin improvement from cost cutting efforts. We see BBRY growing its mobile device management business ... We anticipate BBRY focusing on growing its software offerings and expect its hardware business to remain at depressed levels." MDM software rival MobileIron (MOBL +6.6%) is up strongly.
- FQ3 results, details
Dec. 19, 2014, 9:11 AM
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