Why BlackBerry Is Showing Signs of Stability Under CEO John Chen

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-12-22
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    Why BlackBerry Is Showing Signs of Stability Under CEO John Chen
    Next

    Why BlackBerry Is Showing Signs of Stability Under CEO John Chen

    By Don Reisinger
  • Previous
    BlackBerry Still Has Big Cash Reserves to Keep the Business Going
    Next

    BlackBerry Still Has Big Cash Reserves to Keep the Business Going

    One of the biggest reasons companies fail is their inability to raise cash and keep it. Luckily for BlackBerry, that isn't as much of a problem as it was over the past couple of years when it was losing billions of dollars. Despite the net loss of $148 million, the company reported that in its last fiscal quarter, it added $43 million in cash to its coffers, bringing its total on-hand cash and investments to $3.1 billion. That's cash that the company has to fund future operations and growth opportunities.
  • Previous
    BlackBerry Is Doing a Better Job at Controlling Costs
    Next

    BlackBerry Is Doing a Better Job at Controlling Costs

    One of the big takeaways from BlackBerry's earnings call is the company's ongoing commitment to cost reductions. Compared with the same period last year, all of BlackBerry's major costs, including research and development, marketing and hardware costs, were down. That has helped BlackBerry significantly improve its stability.
  • Previous
    Revenue Might Not Matter as Much as You Think
    Next

    Revenue Might Not Matter as Much as You Think

    There's no doubt about it: If a person were to examine the state of BlackBerry based solely on its revenue, things would appear to be grim. During the same period last year, BlackBerry posted revenue of $1.2 billion. In the most recent completed quarter, its revenue was at $793 million. However, in 2013, BlackBerry lost $1.3 billion on that revenue before operating expenses were factored in. This time around, its gross margin hit $410 million.
  • Previous
    The Loss Is Looking Better and Better
    Next

    The Loss Is Looking Better and Better

    Although BlackBerry posted a net loss in the latest quarter of $148 million, it was actually an improvement over the last several quarters. At the end of the year-ago quarter, BlackBerry had a net loss of $4.4 billion. What's worse, for the nine months ended Nov. 30, 2013, BlackBerry's net loss was $5.5 billion. This year, that's down to just $332 million. Remember: Everything must be considered within the proper context. And while BlackBerry is still losing money, its situation is much improved from a year ago.
  • Previous
    It's All About the Enterprise
    Next

    It's All About the Enterprise

    So, how did some of BlackBerry's successes come about this quarter? It's focusing on strengths that set it apart from its mobile market competitors: enterprise-grade security and services. BlackBerry CEO John Chen has made it clear that the consumer market is not going to help the company succeed, and it needs to continue to provide hardware and software solutions to corporate customers to stage a turnaround. At least so far, it appears that idea is working.
  • Previous
    Can BlackBerry Classic Boost Hardware?
    Next

    Can BlackBerry Classic Boost Hardware?

    Last week, BlackBerry announced the Classic, a new smartphone that has a small, 3.5-inch screen and a physical keyboard like the BlackBerry devices of old. The handset, which costs $449, is available now and will ship by the end of the year. BlackBerry isn't willing yet to give up hardware, though it contributes quite a bit to its costs, and it believes the Classic could help it attract more enterprise customers. Only time will tell if that's true.
  • Previous
    BlackBerry Messenger Will Be a Factor in Future Growth
    Next

    BlackBerry Messenger Will Be a Factor in Future Growth

    BlackBerry has said that its mobile-messaging platform, BlackBerry Messenger, will play a crucial role in its business in the coming years. The software is platform-agnostic and has been attracting many more customers. In BlackBerry's previous fiscal quarter for the period ended Aug. 30, BBM's monthly active users were up to 91 million from 85 million in the previous quarter. BlackBerry didn't say how many users were active on BBM at the end of its last reported quarter, but some analysts say that figure is approaching 100 million.
  • Previous
    BlackBerry Plans to Be More Mobile OS-Agnostic
    Next

    BlackBerry Plans to Be More Mobile OS-Agnostic

    BlackBerry is fully aware that in today's mobile market the BlackBerry 10 mobile OS can't regain substantial market share against Android and Apple's iOS. In fact, the company has clearly stated that it's not going to lock down users into BlackBerry and will offer solutions on any platform customers wish. What's more, BlackBerry didn't even discuss the market status of it mobile operating system in its latest financial release, indicating all the more that its future success depends on being more OS-agnostic.
  • Previous
    BlackBerry EZ Pass Is Proving Popular
    Next

    BlackBerry EZ Pass Is Proving Popular

    BlackBerry EZ Pass, which is system enabling companies running BlackBerry 10 or other mobile operating system platforms to integrate with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, has been taking off, the company says. BlackBerry's EZ Pass Program has brought in 6.8 million licenses for BlackBerry Enterprise Server, representing a 100 percent gain compared with the previous quarter. Perhaps most importantly to BlackBerry, more than 30 percent of those new licenses came from other mobile device management solutions, like Good Technology.
  • Previous
    BlackBerry Technology Solutions Could Be a Breakout Hit
    Next

    BlackBerry Technology Solutions Could Be a Breakout Hit

    BlackBerry Technology Solutions, a new division within the company, has become a shining star, despite not getting the kind of attention it might deserve. BlackBerry's Technology Solutions unit is made up of the company's QNX software, security systems such as Certicom cryptography and antenna tuning technology designed to improve reception. Perhaps most importantly, it holds BlackBerry's powerful patent portfolio and focuses on the ways in which the company can get into opportunities related to the Internet of things. While Technology Solutions doesn't get a lot of attention, it should help return BlackBerry to sustainable profitability in the coming years.
 

BlackBerry's most recent quarterly financial report shows the company is still struggling to fight its way out of the mobile business wilderness. But there are signs that BlackBerry is at least more stable than it was a year ago, giving CEO John Chen, a tech industry turnaround specialist, a bit more time to bring about a full recovery. On the face of it, BlackBerry's fiscal third-quarter financial report didn't sound very encouraging. Losses for the quarter totaled $148 million and revenue for the quarter fell to $793 million, a 13.43 decrease from the previous quarter. But the company still holds $3.1 billion in cash, and it is steadily decreasing the rate at which it was hemorrhaging cash. Chen asserts BlackBerry remains on track to achieve positive cash flow during its 2016 fiscal year by pursuing a strategy of selling a combination of secure mobile hardware, applications and services to enterprise customers. This eWEEK slide show takes a closer look at the results of BlackBerry's quarterly report to see where the company stands in its recovery effort. BlackBerry might be a shadow of its former self today, but it still has a number of factors working in its favor. And in today's highly competitive mobile market, that might just be enough for BlackBerry to return to profitability and perhaps even growth.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
 
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters























 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rocket Fuel