Financials have not looked good for BlackBerry for quite some time now, and according to the company’s latest numbers for its first fiscal 2017 quarter, that trend does not look to change anytime soon.
During the three-month period ending May 31, BlackBerry’s net loss totaled $670 million — almost triple what the company lost during its previous fiscal quarter. The massive downturn was mainly due to write-downs and impairments, which totaled $599 million. Furthermore, revenue stood at $424 million, a 40 percent drop year-over-year and a 14 percent drop quarter-over-quarter.
It was not all bad on the revenue front, as BlackBerry announced its software and services revenue made up 39 percent, or $166 million, of the total revenue. This represents a 21 percent increase from the $137 million the company’s software and services brought in during the same period last year.
In addition, due to the amount BlackBerry spent on write-downs and impairment charges, the company predicted a smaller-than-expected annual loss for its fiscal 2017, which led to the company’s stock rising 3.6 percent. More specifically, BlackBerry predicted losses of 15 cents per share, compared to analysts’ prediction of a 33 cent per share loss.
Interestingly, BlackBerry announced a change to its “reporting structure.” This resulted in a combination of phone sales and software licensing agreements the company called “mobility solutions,” a unit that accounted for 36 percent, or $152 million, of total revenue. In other words, BlackBerry’s software and services brought in more money than its device business.
This is not too surprising, seeing how BlackBerry sold 500,000 devices during its first fiscal 2017 quarter. Overall, the company’s device business has seen a steady decline of phone sales since the second fiscal 2015 quarter, during which BlackBerry sold 2.1 million phones. The company’s relatively low phone sales match up with how poorly the Priv, BlackBerry’s first Android phone, has performed so far.
As such, there have been numerous calls for BlackBerry to no longer make devices and to focus on software instead. During a recent conference call with investors, however, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said his company would unveil two additional phones “in the July timeframe.” These phones are not expected to be flagships, with one rumored to feature a Priv-like keyboard and the other a touchscreen affair.
Chen also remained optimistic about the device business during the conference call, saying he believes “that we could make money out of our device business.”