BlackBerry quarterly results beat on software strength

BlackBerry said revenue from its enterprise software and services business rose 18 percent to $189 million in the first quarter. (Reuters)
Updated 22 June 2018
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BlackBerry quarterly results beat on software strength

BENGALURU: Canadian software maker BlackBerry Ltd. on Friday reported quarterly revenue and profit that topped analysts’ estimates, driven by strong growth in its high-margin software and services business.
US-listed shares of BlackBerry rose 2.6 percent to $11.89 in premarket trading.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said revenue from its enterprise software and services business rose 18 percent to $189 million in the first quarter.
Blackberry, which dominated the smartphone market nearly a decade ago before losing out to Apple Inc’s iPhones and Android devices, has been trying to win investor confidence and make money by selling software to manage mobile devices to corporations and government agencies.
As part of the transition, the company is focusing on making software for next-generation driverless cars based on its QNX platform.
“I am pleased that BlackBerry QNX software is now embedded in over 120 million automobiles worldwide, doubling the install base in the last three years,” Chief Executive Officer John Chen said in a statement.
The company’s net loss was $60 million, or 11 cents per share, for the first quarter ended May 31, compared with a profit of $671 million, or $1.23 per share, a year earlier.
BlackBerry received a one-time arbitration payment of $940 million from Qualcomm Inc. in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding items, the company earned 3 cents per share. Analysts were expecting the company to break even on a per share basis, according to Thomson Reuters.
Total revenue fell 9.4 percent to $213 million, but still beat analysts’ estimate of $208 million.


‘Get prices down’ Trump tells OPEC

Updated 20 September 2018
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‘Get prices down’ Trump tells OPEC

  • Trump highlights US security role in region
  • Comments come ahead of oil producers meeting in Algeria

LONDON: US president Donald Trump urged OPEC to lower crude prices on Thursday while reminding Mideast oil exporters of US security support.
He made his remarks on Twitter ahead of a keenly awaited meeting of OPEC countries and its allies in Algiers this weekend as pressure mounts on them to prevent a spike in prices caused by the reimposition of oil sanctions on Iran.
“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!” he tweeted.
“We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!”
Despite the threat, the group and its allies are unlikely to agree to an official increase in output, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing OPEC sources.
In June they agreed to increase production by about one million barrels per day (bpd). That decision was was spurred by a recovery in oil prices, in part caused by OPEC and its partners agreeing to lower production since 2017.
Known as OPEC+, the group of oil producers which includes Russia are due to meet on Sunday in Algiers to look at how to allocate the additional one million bpd within its quote a framework.
OPEC sources told Reuters that there was no immediate plan for any official action as such a move would require OPEC to hold what it calls an extraordinary meeting, which is not on the table.
Oil prices slipped after Trumps remarks, with Brent crude shedding 40 cents to $79 a barrel in early afternoon trade in London while US light crude was unchanged at about $71.12.
Brent had been trading at around $80 on expectations that global supplies would come under pressure from the introduction of US sanctions on Iranian crude exports on Nov. 4.
Some countries has already started to halt imports from Tehran ahead of that deadline, leading analysts to speculate about how much spare capacity there is in the Middle East to compensate for the loss of Iranian exports as well as how much of that spare capacity can be easily brought online after years of under-investment in the industry.
Analysts expect oil to trend higher and through the $80 barrier as the deadline for US sanctions approaches.
“Brent is definitely fighting the $80 line, wanting to break above,” said SEB Markets chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop, Reuters reported. “But this is likely going to break very soon.”