Is BlackBerry Ltd. a Buy Based on its Quarterly Results?

It has been an uphill battle for BlackBerry Ltd.  (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY), but after it reported its third-quarter results last week, there are signs that investors might want to reconsider and pick up some shares of the tech company. That being said, there are also signs that things are not going all that well for the company, so investors should still be wary.

According to BlackBerry’s results, it had US$557 million in revenue, beating analysts’ expectations of US$489 million. This is huge because the increase in revenue means that it didn’t lose nearly as much money as analysts had predicted. BlackBerry lost US$0.03 per share, which is much less than the expected US$0.15.

One of the big drivers of this increase in revenue was its software and services division. Ever since I joined Fool, I’ve been hoping that BlackBerry will double-down on its software. It seems that BlackBerry has. All told, the division brought in US$154 million in revenue, which is up significantly from the US$78 million in the previous quarter. Part of the reason this occurred is because the company brought on an additional 2,713 enterprise customers. Its acquisitions of AtHoc and Good Technology also contributed.

What makes these software numbers so powerful is that these aren’t one-time charges. Instead, 70% of the revenue is recurring, which is big because it means the company can anticipate at least 70% of its software revenue. The more predictable revenue is, the better. CEO John Chen hopes that this number will increase to 80%, making revenue even more predictable.

But it was the hardware division that everyone was paying attention to. In my eyes, it did not disappoint. It should be noted that the Priv was only made available for sale 22 days before the end of the quarter and in only a few markets, so not much was expected of the device. According to BlackBerry, it sold 700,000 devices in the quarter, which is down from the 800,000 in the second quarter.

What stands out–and gives me hope–is a metric called average selling price (ASP). The ASP tells us how much money the company brought in from the sales of a device on average. In the second quarter, BlackBerry’s ASP was $240 per device. This quarter it was $315 per device. That increase of $75 per device implies that, while the Priv was only out for a few weeks, it did have a material impact on the company’s revenue.

Because of this, BlackBerry is looking to roll the device out to more markets and retailers. According to Chen, it will be available in 31 countries by the end of February. For context, it was only available in four countries at the end of the third quarter.

All of this news leads me to believe that BlackBerry might be turning around. Its software business is really starting to pick up and its ASP was higher this quarter. If the Priv really is selling well, we should expect to see the ASP of the fourth quarter to be even greater. And if none of this works out for the company, Chen did hint at an Internet of Things product that it will be announcing in January.

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Fool contributor Jacob Donnelly has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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