BlackBerry Q3 Earnings: What Analysts Expect

BlackBerry Q3 Earnings: What Analysts Expect
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Mr. Chen has had almost two months at the helm of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), and while Deutsche Bank’s analysts do not expect a turnaround to happen overnight, they do expect Mr. Chen to layout a roadmap of how to get the company back to profitability. Alongside this analysts reportedly would like to see some clear metrics of what to expect going forward, with a forecast range of BB10 units, subscriber base numbers, services revenues, paying BES 10 enterprise customers and BBM downloads given.

BlackBerry handset business

According to Deutsche Bank report, the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s call tomorrow will be the first time the street has been able to speak with management in six months (recall that the Fairfax deal precluded a Q2 call). Given the company has undergone tremendous change, analysts at the firm think it fair that some clarity is now given. They continue to remain cautious on BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), given that it appears that management insists on keeping the handset business around. As a result, analysts maintain their Hold.

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BlackBerry CEO Chen taps former colleagues

It appears BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s CEO Mr. Chen is getting his old team back together, as each hire announced over the past few days has come from either Mr. Chen’s old firm, Sybase, or its acquirer, SAP AG (NYSE:SAP). Given the cumulative experience of the team, analysts think this could give them at least a chance to turn around the prospects of the BES 10 enterprise business. Without much experience on the hardware side though, analysts are curious as to how this will translate into a turnaround of the handset business.

Results could be unimpressive

Analysts expect Mr. Chen will take the liberties of his first quarter to set himself up for success over the following quarters, by taking losses up front and lowering expectations to a manageable level. However, there will be balance of lowered expectations versus the simple viability of the company. Analysts’ hope is that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO does not hide behind opaque generalities but instead lays out a detailed plan with quantifiable goals.

3Q14E DB is $1.5b and ($0.66) vs. consensus of $1.7b and ($0.43)
4Q14E DB is 1.3b and ($0.45) vs consensus of $1.5b and ($0.34)
FY14E DB is $7.4b and ($1.71) vs consensus of $7.7b and ($1.34)
FY15E DB is $3.5b and $0.40 (includes $500 mln tax credit, or $0.95/share) vs consensus of $5.0b and (-1.17)

DB Maintain Hold rating and $6 price target for BlackBerry

Upside risks to analysts’ price target include the potential for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s new platform BB10 to outpace their expectations. Also, better-than-expected consumer adoption of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s existing handset BB7 product line could increase sales above projections. Downside risks include cash burn accelerating beyond analysts’ expectations and slower conversion of BES 10 enterprise customers into paying accounts.

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