BlackBerry Ltd.’s Results Hide Something Special

BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY) reported third-quarter results that showed improvement, but the hardware numbers tell the true growth story.

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BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY) reported third-quarter results last week. While the market wasn’t really expecting a particularly shocking report, there were some elements of the report that showed significant promise for the company’s ongoing turnaround.

Let’s take a look at the numbers and what this means going forward.

Improving numbers

Non-GAAP total revenue was up by 14% over the previous quarter to $557. This was not enough to pull out of the red, as the company posted a Non-GAAP loss of $0.03 per share, but it is a significant improvement over previous quarters.

Non-GAAP software and services revenue was up an astonishing 183% year over year and up 119% over the previous quarter. This one figure shows how the company’s focused realignment to software and services is really starting to take the lead.

Blackberry maintains $2.71 billion cash and investments at the end of the quarter, which is a healthy sized war chest for the company, and this figure already takes into account the acquisitions of both Good Technology and AtHoc.

Software and services

BlackBerry has been focused for much of the past year on software and services. That strategy has finally come to bear the fruit that was expected a long time ago.

Year over year, Software licensing revenue was up 43% and total software and services revenue was up by 183%. The company also reported over 2,700 enterprise customers for the quarter, with approximately 70% of that software revenue being recurring.

The breakdown of revenue for the quarter was 29% for software and services, 31% for service access fees and 40% for hardware and other revenues.

Hardware sales

While John Chen has been focused on diverting the company away from hardware sales to software and services, there is still an industry-wide focus on hardware numbers for the company.

During the most recent quarter BlackBerry released the much-anticipated Priv smartphone that runs the Android operating system.  The most recent quarterly report only accounts for approximately three weeks of Priv sales, and the majority of those would have been pre-sales that would not be reflected as actual sales for the company.

Despite this, the company recognized revenue on 700,000 devices for the quarter. This figure is lower than the 800,000 realized in the previous quarter, but what is of particular interest is the ASP (average selling price).

In the previous quarter, ASP was $240 per device for some 800,000 devices. For this quarter, it was $315 per device on 700,000 devices. So, while the company sold fewer devices, it realized greater revenues, and this is attributed to the much higher priced Priv. The next quarter should show even higher numbers as the Priv will be distributed to far more carriers starting early next year.

The market responded well to the quarter. Blackberry’s stock shot up by over 10%, closing out the week at $12.03. As the company continues to execute the turnaround plan and as the Priv device is released to a larger set of carriers, revenues should be even greater next quarter, making BlackBerry an excellent option for investors looking for growth.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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