Do not count BlackBerry out just yet. The once dominant but now struggling smartphone maker has announced that it has posted profits during the recently concluded quarter. It is now twice in a row that BlackBerry has managed a profitable quarter, thanks to an extensive cost cutting effort.
BlackBerry's fiscal fourth ends at February 28th. For the three month period leading up to that date, BlackBerry posted earnings excluding certain items of $0.04 a share. Wall Street had previously predicted that the phone maker would post a lot of $0.04 a share. Also, BlackBerry's shares increased 3.2 percent to $9.60 in premarket trading Friday. BlackBerry posted a profit in the amount of $28 million. A year earlier, the company sustained a massive loss amounting to $423 million.
BlackBerry used to be a leader when it comes to the production of smartphones. But in recent years, the Canadian phone maker has fallen to rough times as other brands like Apple and Samsung have started dominating the smartphone industry.
But with current chief executive officer John Chen leading the way, it appears that the company is slowly turning things around. Chen has streamlined the operations of BlackBerry. Producing BlackBerry phones is still a core business, but the company is now turning its attention to software and services, which are potentially more profitable. Also, Chen is steering BlackBerry away from being a sole mass-market provider, but more of a strategic business provider that caters to enterprises instead. The company is also actively collaborating with other players -- notable teaming up with Google in order to support Android for Work, as well as working with Samsung's Knox security feature. It is even planning to bring its security services and BlackBerry Hub interface to Android and iOS devices.
Of course, BlackBerry is not giving up on its smartphone division. As a matter of fact at the Mobile World Congress recently held in Barcelona, Spain earlier this year, the company introduced two smartphones: the touch screen BlackBerry Leap, and a yet-to-be-named smartphone with a curved edge.
For the recently concluded quarter, BlackBerry shipped 1.3 million BlackBerry smartphones. Its main products, the BlackBerry Classic and the large BlackBerry Passport, already hit stores in the United States earlier this year and initial sales numbers are encouraging. Chen disclosed that 160 wireless carriers in 86 countries are selling BlackBerry smartphones. Moreover, of the total number of BlackBerry smartphones shipped, 90 percent of them are the more profitable newer devices.
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