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Blackeberry Posts Surprise Q4 Profit, Shares Gain (BBRY)

Shares of Blackberry (formerly known as Research in Motion) (NASDAQ: BBRY) edged up on Thursday after the embattled smartphone maker reported surprise profit for the fiscal fourth quarter, thanks partially to its latest launch of generation next Z10 models, which helped boosting top line. Still, revenue fell short of Street’s expectation while users’ base also contracted.

For the recently concluded quarter, the Ontario Canada based Company reported earnings of 19 cents a share. Stripping out onetime items, adjusted earnings came at 22 cents compared to a earnings of 80 cents a share, in the same period of last year. The Company has now posted two successive quarterly profits.

Revenue shrank to $2.68 billion from $4.19 billion, in the same period of last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of 29 cents a share on revenue of $2.85 billion.

Z10 and Q10, Blackberry’s latest models, which were launched just few weeks ago amid much fanfare after several delays in past 12 months, is seen by industry experts as a make or break move by the smartphone maker.

The Company said that it has moved about one million units of the new models, which carry both touch-screen feature and physical keyboard feature (meant for those users who used to this).

Commenting over the results, Blackberry’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Thorsten Heins said in a statement, “We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the Company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter.”

Nonetheless, Challenges do remain for the Blackberry, which was once a market-leader. The Company’s subscribers’ base shrank to 76 million from 79 million while overall handset shipments slumped 46% during the quarter to 6 million.

Blackberry’s rivals Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy series have made deep inroads inside consumers’ psyche and to reclaim its lost traction will be an uphill task for the company.


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