BlackBerry Q4 earnings better than expected, sales light

CEO John Chen said BlackBerry had a solid fiscal 2020 and launched 30 new products.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

BlackBerry reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings as its software and services revenue was up 13% from a year ago. The company is seeing a slowdown in QNX deals due to COVID-19 shutdowns in the auto industry.

On a non-GAAP basis, BlackBerry reported fourth quarter earnings of 9 cents a share and 7 cents a share GAAP. BlackBerry reported GAAP revenue of $282 million, up 13% from a year ago. Non-GAAP fourth quarter revenue for BlackBerry was $287 million.

Wall Street was expecting BlackBerry to report fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings of 4 cents a share on revenue of $296.3 million.

CEO John Chen said BlackBerry had a solid fiscal 2020 and launched 30 new products. Chen also said the company's security business and Spark platform for the Internet of things held promise. BlackBerry, formerly known for its mobile devices, has transitioned to be a software company with assets like QNX, Cylance and Spark. 

On a conference call, Chen said that the IoT business was hit due to COVID-19 and its impact on the auto industry. BlackBerry's QNX platform is a staple among automakers.

Chen said automakers pulled back on spending as they shut down manufacturing and production. 

Unfortunately, we expect this trend to continue for the near future due to a temporary global auto production shutdowns and related slowdowns of auto sales. prospect have become more cautious in the decision-making related to capital expenditure and development. The leading indicator to us was that we expected 2 large transactions with reliable customers that were unfortunately delayed. While our fourth fiscal quarter results were impacted, we believe these 2 delayed transaction will occur as the business environment return to normal. On a positive note, BlackBerry QNX continued to gain design wins. We were chosen for 31 design wins in the quarter. 

For fiscal 2020, BlackBerry reported a net loss of 32 cents a share on revenue of $1.04 billion, up 15% from a year ago.

BlackBerry's Cylance security unit had revenue of $43 million for the three months ended Feb. 29 with its IoT division delivering $127 million. The company ended the quarter with cash and equivalents of $990 million.  

BlackBerry didn't offer fiscal 2021 guidance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our revenue most likely will be negatively impacted by continuing headwinds to global auto production and sales. We anticipate continued delays in capital spending in the auto as well as the other industries," explained Chen. "At the same time, this negative impact would be partially offset because our product and services portfolio is well suited to help enterprise meet the challenges of business continuity, driven by the dramatic expansion of the more workers or the number of workers." 

Editorial standards