BlackBerry Reports Surprise Profit for Q4 2012; Co-Founder Mike Lazaridis Leaves
March 28, 2013 10:57 AM
Analysts had expected a loss for the quarter
BlackBerry managed to turn up a surprise profit last quarter, and even shipped 1 million
-- giving the company hope that its new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) platform will turn things around after all.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, BlackBerry reported an income of $94 million (18 cents per share).
Excluding some costs, adjusted income came in at $114 million (22 cents per share). This beat analyst expectations of losing 29 cents per share.
BlackBerry said its cost-cutting efforts were the reason for the profit.
“We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the Company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter,” said Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry President and CEO. “With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have introduced the newest and what we believe to be the most innovative mobile computing platform in the market today. Customers love the device and the user experience, and our teams and partners are now focused on getting those devices into the hands of BlackBerry consumer and enterprise customers.”
While the profit is certainly good news, BlackBerry's overall sales isn't. BlackBerry posted sales of $2.7 billion during Q4 2012, which fell short of analyst expectations of $2.8 billion.
As for the Z10 smartphone -- BlackBerry's first release under the BB10 line -- the company shipped 1 million in Q4 2012 and sold from two-thirds to three-quarters of them, according to Heins in a conference call.
Another bit of news on BlackBerry's radar is the departure of co-founder Mike Lazaridis, who is stepping down as director and vice chairman of BlackBerry. Lazaridis stepped down as CEO in January 2012, handing the torch to Heins.
BlackBerry is looking to turn itself around after
losing a lot of market share
to the likes of Apple's iPhone and Google's Android. BlackBerry even lost its place in corporate and government environments recently, where it has traditionally reigned supreme.
Part of BlackBerry's makeover was changing its name earlier this year from Research in Motion (RIM) to BlackBerry, a more closely relatable name to its products (and is definitely easier for customers to remember). From there, the company is looking for a save with the launch of BB10 devices and software.
BlackBerry's new BB10 line was announced in January 2013, and
the Z10 shipped in the U.S. on March 22 through AT&T.
Now BlackBerry is chugging along, looking for
ways to engage developers
in the BB10 platform so that BB10 will have a plentiful app store to keep momentum. A recent report showed that 20 percent of BB10's apps are actually Android apps being ported into BB10 devices via
an emulation engine.
But BlackBerry is
trying to get developers to make native apps for BB10 by offering a $10,000 guarantee and even promising that its first batch of BB10 devices will only have one of two screen sizes to avoid fragmentation.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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