BlackBerry reported its fiscal first quarter 2018 earnings this morning, and as the company continues to focus on the "Enterprise of Things" and cybersecurity, it was able to report a profit for the period. Under GAAP (certain accounting rules), BlackBerry reported a profit of $1.23 per share vs. a loss during last year's fiscal Q1 of $1.28 a share. On a GAAP basis, the company had revenue of $235 million for the three months ended in May. $160 million of that amount came from sales of software and services. Under GAAP, BlackBerry had gross margins of 64%, and ended the three months with $2.6 billion in cash.
During the quarter, BlackBerry started shipping two handsets under two different licensing agreements. The BlackBerry KEYone
, manufactured by TCL, features a physical QWERTY keyboard and offers exceptionally long battery life. The phone has generally received good reviews and we scored it 8.5 out of 10 (read our review by clicking here
). Also launched during the three months was the BlackBerry Aurora. Produced under a licensing deal that BlackBerry signed with BB Merah Putih
, this low-to-mid range handset is manufactured and sold in Indonesia.
Other highlights during the quarter include the launch of BlackBerry SHIELD, a tool that allows companies to determine how protected they are from cybersecurity risks. The company also received $940 million from Qualcomm after a dispute was settled
under binding arbitration.
"Our financial foundation is solid. We reported non-GAAP profitability for the third consecutive quarter, and our balance sheet continues to strengthen. More importantly, we are better positioned to invest in our strategic areas of focus to drive long-term sustainable growth, while returning capital through share repurchases to further enhance shareholder value.
"Our outlook for fiscal 2018 is unchanged. We expect growth at or above the overall market in software and services. We also expect to be profitable on a non-GAAP basis and to generate positive free cash flow for the full year, excluding the benefit of the Qualcomm arbitration award."-John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry
It certainly appears as though BlackBerry has turned the corner, and while handsets are no longer the focus of the company, CEO John Chen has the company competitive in the Enterprise software business. After the quarter ended, BlackBerry was named a "Leader" in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobile Management Suites.