BlackBerry loses $6bn – yet its share price goes up!

BlackBerry reported a much smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday, sending its shares up almost 7%, despite posting an annual loss of $5.9bn.

BlackBerry loses $6bn - yet its share price goes up!

The company said its net loss was $423 million for the fourth quarter ended March 1. That compared with a year-earlier profit of $98 million.

Revenue fell to $976 million from $2.68 billion. Analysts on average had been expecting $1.11 billion.

The company said it had recognised hardware revenue on about 1.3 million BlackBerry smartphones during the fourth quarter, compared with about 1.9 million devices in the previous period.

It also said about 3.4 million devices were sold through to end customers, and this included shipments made and recognised before the fourth quarter. The company said 68% of these devices were BlackBerry 7s, indicating that traction around its new line of BlackBerry 10 phones remains weak.

Morningstar analyst Brian Colello said operating expense reductions were encouraging and that he thought the company could get to break-even by the end of 2015 with further cost-cutting. “The big question still remains what BlackBerry can do on the demand side,” he said. “A lot of its moves have been supply related and internal, but we’re still looking for strong signs that demand is improving.”

Under new chief executive John Chen, the Ontario-based company is putting the emphasis back on its once hugely successful keyboard devices.

Chen told Reuters that BlackBerry was designing three new keyboard-centric devices and would probably introduce them in the next 18 months.

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