BlackBerry fiscal Q4 revenue misses expectations, in talks to sell mobile patents

BlackBerry cited the global chip shortage, and efforts to sell some of its patent portfolio pertaining to mobile to a North American company.
Written by Tiernan Ray, Senior Contributing Writer

Mobile technology legend BlackBerry this afternoon reported fiscal Q4 revenue that fell short of analysts' expectations, and profit that was in line with consensus, and said it was talking with a North American company about selling patents from its portfolio pertaining to mobile technology. 

The report sent BlackBerry shares down about 3% in late trading. 

CEO John Chen remarked that the fiscal year just ended had "been an exceptional year to navigate," adding, "however we are pleased with QNX's continued recovery, despite new challenges from the global chip shortage," referring to the company's operating system software. 

Added Chen, "QNX now has design wins with 23 of the world's top 25 electric vehicle OEMs and remains on course to return to a normal revenue run rate by mid-fiscal 2022. 

Added Chen, 

We are seeing tangible signs that our efforts and improvements in go-to-market are starting to pay off and have a positive impact. This quarter we generated strong sequential billings growth for our Software and Services business, including significant improvements for both Spark and QNX.  Total billings are back to pre-pandemic levels.

Chen said the company's revenue from licensing its patents had been reduced by talks during the quarter to sell the patent portfolio:

During the quarter BlackBerry entered into an exclusive negotiation with a North American entity for the potential sale of part of the patent portfolio relating primarily to mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking. The Company has limited its patent monetization activities due to the ongoing negotiations. If the Company had not been in negotiations during the quarter, we believe that Licensing revenue would have been higher.

Revenue in the three months ended in January fell to $215 million, yielding a net profit of 3 cents a share.

That revenue number was below the company's own forecast back on December 17th, and below the average analyst estimate for $244.8 million. Analysts had been modeling profit of 3 cents per share.

Revenue from licensing and "other" totaled $50 million in the quarter, the company said  

BlackBerry plans to offer its outlook on the company's earnings conference call that starts at 5:30 p, this evening. Wall Street is modeling $238.2 million and a 2-cent profit per share this quarter, and for the full year, $1.019 billion in revenue and a 13-cent profit per share.

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