BlackBerry Says It Saw Higher Software, Licensing Demand Last Quarter

BlackBerry Says It Saw Higher Software, Licensing Demand Last Quarter

Canada’s BlackBerry posted a surprise 6 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Thursday, as sales of its security software product rose and its patent licensing business strengthened.

US-listed shares of BlackBerry, which sells security software to companies and governments as well as infotainment software to carmakers, rose 6 percent in early morning trade.

BlackBerry’s QNX car software sales, which had been under pressure due to a pandemic-related weakness in the US auto industry, also improved in the quarter. Demand for new vehicles has been recovering after hitting a bottom in April, as lockdown restrictions ease and buyers return.

“Some signs of recovery in auto production point to sequential revenue growth and a return to a normal run rate for QNX by early next year,” Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement.

The quarter benefited from higher sales of the company’s core security software, Spark, as businesses continue to strengthen their IT security to support remote working trends.

In a post-earnings call with analysts, the company said its patent licensing business also performed strongly, contributing $108 million (roughly Rs. 795 crores) to total revenue.

Morningstar analyst Mark Cash said BlackBerry Spark provides the company with future demand as enterprises and government entities work to protect and manage devices.

The company reiterated its full year revenue forecast of about $950 million (roughly Rs. 6,997 crores). Analysts expect revenue to be $956 million (roughly Rs. 7,041 crores).

Total revenue for the second quarter ended August 31 was $259 million (roughly Rs. 1,907 crores), while analysts were expecting it to drop to $237.03 million (roughly Rs. 1,746 crores) from $244 million (roughly Rs. 1,797 crores) a year earlier, according IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, the company reported a profit 11 cents (roughly Rs. 8) per share, compared with analysts’ estimates of 2 cents (roughly Rs. 2) per share.

Net loss narrowed to $23 million (roughly Rs. 169 crores), or 4 cents (roughly Rs. 3) per share, from $44 million (roughly Rs. 324 crores), or 10 cents (roughly Rs. 7) per share, a year earlier.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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