Thursday, April 24, 2014

Big loss for BlackBerry

WATERLOO, Ont.—BlackBerry’s new leader, John Chen, offered a better idea of where the smartphone company is headed next year as he tries to rescue its struggling operations following a whopping third-quarter loss of $4.4 billion (U.S.), which was worse than analysts expected.
One of the first steps will be a new agreement with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, which will make the company’s handsets and help develop new phones next year.

Chen, who joined BlackBerry as chairman and interim CEO less than two months ago, laid out some of the plan in an unusually-candid conference call with analysts, where he poked fun at lawyers while acknowledging he has his work cut out for him.
“We’re no longer worrying about whether we’re going to be around,” he said.
“We’re ready to fight back.”
Chen’s comments helped take the sting off an otherwise dismal set of financial results.
The third-quarter results showed BlackBerry 10 smartphones—once touted as the way to recover lost ground—hardly are selling at all.
The company said more than 74 percent of the 4.3 million BlackBerry devices that landed in user’s hands during the quarter were its older BlackBerry 7 models.
Those poor sales weighed on BlackBerry’s revenue, which was $1.2 billion (U.S.), down 56 percent from a year ago when it didn’t have the new smartphone models on the market.
It also was $400 million lower than analyst estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Much of today’s conference call was dedicated to talking about BlackBerry’s future, and areas of its business that still could generate profits.
“We admit the fact that in the past maybe we haven’t really lined ourselves up as we probably should have done,” Chen said.
“That has affected our results [and] the market has spoken.
“We listened and we’re going to listen even more as we go forward,” he pledged.
Chen said he aims to make the BlackBerry instant messaging software BBM generate revenue by fiscal 2016.

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