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BlackBerry – No Turnaround in Fiscal Q1 2014


BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) reported their first quarter fiscal 2014 results today, and despite some actual growth in shipped smartphones and a notable rise in revenue, the company still struggles with an operating loss of $84 million. Late this March we noted that it might be too early to say anything, but now it is more than apparent that the clock is truly ticking. Fiscal Q1 2014 results encompass three months ending June 1 2013.

Interestingly enough, revenue ($3.1 billion) went up 15% sequentially from the previous quarter or up 9% compared to the same period of time last year. 71% of revenue comes from the hardware, 26% from services and 3% from software and other sources. The company also shipped 6.8 million BlackBerry smartphones and 100,000 PlayBook tablets, which finally put a stop to the constant downfall. Earnings call revealed that around 40% of those shipped devices (2.72 million) were the new generation (BB10) units. All BlackBerry mobile operating systems had a 2.9% market share in the first quarter of the calendar year, as Microsoft?s Windows Phone surpassed it in the third place in smartphone shipments according to the IDC. In the same period last year, BB had a 6.4% market share.

Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry said that they are still in the early stages of the launch (of the new platform), and that ?BlackBerry 10 platform and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 are proving themselves to customers to be very secure, flexible and dynamic mobile computing solutions.?

Worth noting is that their first BB10 platform product – Z10 smartphone officially launched in February, with the unit now available in 147 countries. Q10 that sports a QWERTY keyboard officially launched in April this year, and is available in 96 countries. Entry-level variant Q5 was officially unveiled a week ago in Dubai. To top the hardware story off, CEO Thorsten Heins said that they are unable to fulfill the promise given to PlayBook owners in January this year ? as tablet will not receive the BlackBerry 10 operating system upgrade. The company claims that the performance was substandard to pull it off and confirmed that the core of the business remains in the smartphone segment.

BlackBerry also revealed that the subscriber base is continuing to fall, as they recorded a drop of 4 million subscribers over the quarter (76 million in Q4 2013, 72 million in Q1 2014). Stock was down 27% ($10.53) during writing of this article.

Research In Motion Ltd.

Outlook of the company is not overly optimistic as they note that the smartphone market ?remains highly competitive, making it difficult to estimate units, revenue and levels of profitability.? As mentioned some time ago, the company will also focus on evolving the BlackBerry Messenger into a ?leading cross-platform mobile social messaging app,? and the appearance of the BBM on the iOS and Android is expected before the summer ends. More financial information is available on the link (.pdf format).