BlackBerry Ltd Q4 Earnings Results Likely To Disappoint

BlackBerry Ltd Q4 Earnings Results Likely To Disappoint
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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will report its Q4 and full year results on March 28 before the bell. Analysts don’t expect much improvement in the business. But investors may respond positively given John Chen’s impressive track record. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to incur a net loss of $0.57 a share with $1.11 billion in revenues. For the full year, the ailing Canadian company is expected to report a loss of $1.82 per share with on sales of $6.95 billion.

BlackBerry Q4 results to be dismal at best

MKM Partners analyst Michael Genovese says he is highly skeptical of the company’s ability to transform its business successfully. Genovese has a Neutral rating on the stock with $10 price target. However, in the short-term, investors are likely to react positively to John Chen’s conference call. Investors have shown a lot of faith in Chen. He is credited with turning around Sybase. The stock has gained about 40% since he took over as CEO of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) in November 2013.

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Genovese says the results will be “dismal” at best. He forecasts Q4 revenues of $1.12 billion. The analyst said investors will take notes of cash burn. Genovese expects the company to burn $500 million cash during the fourth quarter. That’s much better than JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall’s forecast of $900 million cash burn. Hall estimates BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s smartphone shipment to plummet 71% YoY to just 1.5 million units, compared to the Wall Street consensus of 1.8 million units.

Little demand for BlackBerry’s hardware

MKM Partners sees little demand for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s hardware. Since the $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), speculations around a potential sale of BBM have grown. Chen said he is not looking to sell BBM immediately, at least not until the platform begins to boast of a strong user base.

Genovese is skeptical of the Canadian company’s ability to monetize BBM through sponsored channels and sale of virtual goods. QNX is gaining traction in the automobile industry, but the software revenue opportunity is very low. On the other hand, the enterprise MDM market is fiercely crowded with more than 130 competitors, while the overall market is just $2 billion.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) expects to become cash flow positive by FY2015 and profitable by FY2016. Shares of the company rose 1.66% to $9.20 in pre-market trading Friday.

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