Shares in BlackBerry, the company formerly known as Research in Motion, bounced around this morning, opening up at $15.55 before dropping back down to $14.76 and, as of about 11 AM Eastern time, were back on the climb. The bobbing came after the phone-maker reported a surprise Q4 profit. For the three months ended March 2, the company logged a net income of $98M while analysts had been expecting a loss. Revenue, however, was down to $2.678B, about 2% off the last quarter and 36% off the comparable quarter in 2012. The company also shed about 3M subscribers and now has a base of approximately 76M. Blackberry said it shipped 1M of its new BlackBerry 10 units — the 10 operating system was introduced in January on two devices, the Z10 and Q10 — and moved 6M smartphones overall. Analyst Brian Colello told Reuters “The 1 million units is a nice start… I think the encouraging thing is that BlackBerry was still able to sell a good portion of older models and generate solid service revenue during the transition. I think that will be important in terms of cash balance and profitability.”
CEO Thorsten Heins needs businesses and app developers to embrace BlackBerry 10 as the smartphone pioneer has lost ground in the past two years to Apple’s iPhones and a host of handsets that run Google’s Android operating system. Heins said today, “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… As we go into our new fiscal year, we are excited with the opportunities for the BlackBerry 10 platform, and the commitments we are seeing from our global developers and partners. We are also excited about the new, dynamic culture at BlackBerry, where we are laser-focused on continuing to drive efficiency and improve the company’s profitability while driving innovation.” It was also announced that Mike Lazaridis, a co-founder of BlackBerry, is resigning as vice chair and a director of the company as of May 1.
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