Shares of BlackBerry (NASDAQ: $BBRY) are trading up as much as 6% this morning after the company reported a surprise fiscal fourth-quarter earnings beat.
The company posted a net loss of $423 million, or 80 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $98 million, or 19 cents a share.
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Adjusted per-share loss from continuing operations was $42 million, or 8 cents a share. Fourth-quarter revenue slid 64% to $976 million. BlackBerry said it sold about 3.4 million smartphones in the period, including about 2.3 million BlackBerry 7 models.
Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a loss of 56 cents on sales of $1.17 billion. On the report, Chief Executive John Chen said:
“I am very pleased with our progress and execution in fiscal Q4 against the strategy we laid out three months ago.”
BlackBerry recently updated its management software to include additional features for Apple (NASDAQ: $AAPL) and Google‘s (NASDAQ: $GOOG) Android phones, and also to support Microosft‘s (NASDAQ: $MSFT) Windows Phone. At the same time, many large corporations still operate BlackBerry Enterprise Servers to support the dwindling number of BlackBerrys used by their employees.
While BlackBerry’s latest software, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12, still lacks some iPhone and Android features, Jack Gold, the principal analyst at J. Gold Associates, said it was nevertheless competitive. “It’s good,” Mr. Gold said. “Is it the best? It’s hard to say.”
One of the biggest challenges for BlackBerry is its image — that of a slow-footed company bleeding cash. Persuading corporations that its software is a safe investment will be a tough job for Mr. Chen.
There are still uncertainties, however. While I’m willing to give the company the credit it deserves for its recent rebound, BlackBerry has been too far behind to fully complete the task.
For now, investors have to ask themselves, how much higher can the stock go?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments section and I’ll respond.