Blackberry Jumps on Better than Expected Profits

Michael Teague  |

On Thursday morning, and after a patchy week since the much anticipated release of its new Z10 model smartphone, Blackberry (BBRY) hung in with a strong fourth quarter earnings report.

The company shipped 6 million smartphones during the quarter, 1 million of which were its new Z10 model.  This figure for the Z10 does not include sales for the American market, as the phone was just released in the U.S. last week subsequent to the end of the quarter.

Sales of $2.68 billion were down 36 percent from the prior year, and short of analyst estimates of $2.84 billion.  This could be a result of the staggered release of the Z10, but also of the company’s decision to put off the release of the keyboard version of the new model, the Q10, until an as-yet unspecified date in April.

Blackberry also reported a loss of 3 million subscribers, leaving the total number at 76 million, while estimates were predicted a loss of between 1 and 2 million.

The good news, however, was to be found in the profits: net income came in at $98 million, or $0.19 per share, on $2.68 billion in revenue that far surpassed analyst estimates of a loss of $0.30 per share.  This is also a welcome contrast to the prior year’s Q4, when the company lost $125 million, $0.24 cents per share, on $2.73 billion in revenue.  While profits beat expectations, revenue fell short of the $2.84 billion that was forecast for the period.

CEO Thorsten Heins has been particularly enthusiastic about the fact that many Z10 buyers, 55 percent, were switching over from other platforms, a fact that he highlighted on the company’s conference call early in the day.

The news gave the company’s shares a 3.2 percent boost, to $15.03 early in the day.

[Image via Flickr]

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