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The Waterloo miracle? BlackBerry ekes out tiny profit in Q3 2015

Updated Dec 19th, 2014 7:59AM EST
BlackBerry Q3 2015 Earnings

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One year ago, BlackBerry was in truly retched shape. Now, though, it looks like the company has stopped the bleeding. BlackBerry on Friday reported its fiscal Q3 2015 earnings and the company posted a profit of $0.01 per share, which significantly beat the consensus estimate of a loss of $0.16 per share and was a vast improvement over the disastrous loss of $0.67 per share that the company posted a year ago.

FROM EARLIER: Here’s why I love what BlackBerry’s doing with the Classic

That said, there are still reasons for concern. First, BlackBerry’s revenues came in at just $793 million on the quarter, which missed the consensus estimate of $945 million. This also represents a steep decline from Q3 2014, as BlackBerry posted revenues of $1.2 billion a year ago. The company also sold just 1.9 million smartphones on the quarter, which was virtually unchanged from Q3 2014 despite the fact that BlackBerry had a high-profile launch of its BlackBerry Passport flagship phone in Q3 2015.

Going forward, the company “continues to anticipate maintaining its strong cash position, while increasingly looking for opportunities to prudently invest in growth” while also anticipating that it will post a “break-even or better cash flow from operations” in the coming quarters.

Check out BlackBerry’s full press release below.

BlackBerry Achieves Non-GAAP Profitability and Positive Cash Flow for the Fiscal 2015 Third Quarter

WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 19, 2014) – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today reported financial results for the three months ended November 29, 2014 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP, except where otherwise indicated).

Q3 Highlights:

  • Cash and investments balance of $3.1 billion at the end of the fiscal quarter
  • Normalized positive cash flow of $43 million in the quarter, compared to cash use of $36 million in the prior quarter
  • Non-GAAP earnings of $0.01 per share compared to a loss of $0.02 per share in the prior quarter
  • Non-GAAP and GAAP gross margin of 52%, driven by a second consecutive quarter of positive hardware gross margin
  • Non-GAAP operating profit of $16 million, up from $2 million last quarter
  • Launched BES12 and a portfolio of Value Added Services
  • Ending the EZ Pass Program after the quarter with a total of 6.8 million licenses issued for BES10, a 100% increase from last quarter, with over 30% of total licenses traded in from competitors’ Mobile Device – – Management platforms
  • Completed the acquisition of Movirtu, a provider of virtual SIM solutions, during the quarter. Completed the acquisition of Secusmart, a leader in high-security voice and text encryption, after the quarter ended
  • Announced partnerships with Samsung, Vodafone, Ingram Micro, Brightstar, and many others

Q3 Results

Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2015 was $793 million. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 46% for hardware, 46% for services and 8% for software and other revenue. During the third quarter, the Company recognized hardware revenue on approximately 2 million BlackBerry smartphones. During the third quarter, approximately 1.9 million BlackBerry smartphones were sold through to end customers, which included shipments made and recognized prior to the third quarter and which reduced the Company’s inventory in channel.

Non-GAAP profit for the third quarter was $6 million, or $0.01 per share, reversing a loss of $0.02 last quarter. GAAP net loss for the quarter was $148 million, or $0.28 per share. The GAAP net loss includes a non-cash charge associated with the change in the fair value of the debentures of $150 million (the “Q3 Fiscal 2015 Debentures Fair Value Adjustment”) and pre-tax restructuring charges of $5 million related to the restructuring program. The impact of these adjustments on GAAP net loss and loss per share is summarized in a table below.

Total cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments was $3.1 billion as of November 29, 2014. The cash balance increased $43 million in the third quarter, excluding net outlays of $31 million related to acquisitions during the quarter. Purchase obligations and other commitments amounted to approximately $1.6 billion as of November 29, 2014, with purchase orders with contract manufacturers representing approximately $565 million of the total, compared to $344 million at the end of the second quarter.

“We achieved a key milestone in our eight quarter plan with positive cash flow. We also attained another important milestone in the release of our new enterprise software products and devices,” said Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen. “Our focus now turns to expanding our distribution and driving revenue growth.”


The Company continues to anticipate maintaining its strong cash position, while increasingly looking for opportunities to prudently invest in growth. The Company continues to anticipate break-even or better cash flow from operations.

The Company is expanding its distribution capability, and expects traction from these efforts to manifest some time in fiscal 2016. The company continues to target sustainable non-GAAP profitability some time in fiscal 2016.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.

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