Troubled Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry Ltd reported a much lower-than-expected loss in the fourth-quarter, sending its shares up 7 percent.
Net loss in the three months ended March 1 was $423 million, or 80 cents a share, up from a profit of $98 million a year earlier. However, this was an improvement from a loss of $4.4 billion in the third-quarter.
Revenue plunged to $976 million, up from $2.68 billion, which lagged analysts’ estimate of $1.11 billion in a Thomson Reuters’ survey. When adjusted for restructuring charges and other one-off items, Blackberry posted a loss of 8 cents per share, which beat analysts’ forecast of 55 cents.
Net loss for the year 2013 was $5.9 billion.
The company’s interim chief executive John Chen, who was appointed in November 2013, said that the company was happy with its performance in the quarter and that it is “moving to a sounder financial footing.”
“The guy is on the move fast,” Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners told BBC. “He can control expenses but you can’t magically make revenue happen.”
BlackBerry has lost much of the smartphone market to Apple Inc’s iPhone and Android-powered smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy range.
As the company tries to revive itself, it is turning its focus to its services division, which provides secure communications. Chen revealed that BlackBerry is currently developing three new devices, complete with the iconic QWERTY keyboard that will probably be rolled out in the next one-and-half years.
The company sold around 3.4 million devices to end customers in the fourth quarter, including deliveries made and acknowledged before the quarter. 68 percent of the devices were BlackBerry 7s, a pointer that its newest range BlackBerry 10 is yet to gain traction.
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