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BlackBerry reports US$56 million loss in Q4, revenue hits US$173M

The BlackBerry logo is shown in the lobby of the company's B building in Waterloo, Ont. on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Ryan

BlackBerry Ltd. says it uncovered another US$55 million in cost savings in its latest quarter, when it reported a US$56 million loss.

But chief financial officer Steve Rai says, "there's still more opportunities to be more efficient."

On a Wednesday call to discuss the Waterloo, Ont.-based technology company's latest financial results, he said there's a number of structural items, ranging from legal entity structures to simplifying IT systems and back office infrastructure, that the company can undertake.

"Those types of things are bigger rocks and that doesn't happen overnight," he told analysts.

"We'll obviously actively (be) looking at how to go about that and formulating the plans to execute on those."

In the company's third quarter it reduced its head count by about 200. 

Rai's remarks came as the company reported a US$56 million loss in its fourth quarter, which compared with a loss of US$495 million a year ago.

BlackBerry, which reports its earnings in U.S. dollars, said the fourth-quarter loss amounts to 10 cents US per diluted share compared with a loss of 85 cents US per diluted share a year earlier.

Its revenue for the quarter ended Feb. 29 was US$173 million compared with US$151 million in the prior year's fourth quarter.

Revenue from its Internet of Things business marked a new quarterly record of US$66 million, up from US$53 million in the prior fourth quarter.

BlackBerry's cybersecurity revenue totalled US$92 million, up from the US$88 million seen a year earlier.

On the same call as Rai, chief executive John Giamatteo praised the company's results.

"BlackBerry delivered a solid quarter where we either met or exceeded expectations and, in the process, set a number of new records," he said.

BlackBerry spent much of the quarter working to separate its Internet of Things and cybersecurity divisions from one another.

Giamatteo said the company is still working on its strategy to establish two profitable stand-alone divisions and has appointed several finance, human resources and legal leaders to build out teams for each division.

His remarks and the financial results came the same day as a former BlackBerry employee has filed a lawsuit against the company and Giamatteo, who she claims sexually harassed her and then retaliated against her after she reported the behaviour.

“BlackBerry and Mr. Giamatteo believe that these allegations are without merit and intend to vigorously defend against them,” BlackBerry said in a statement. 

“BlackBerry is committed to maintaining a respectful and productive work environment free from discrimination and harassment. To this end, we do not tolerate, condone, or ignore workplace discrimination or harassment or any unlawful behaviour. We conducted an extensive investigation, which found no evidence of wrongdoing or violations of the company code of conduct, and we are confident that the robustness of our process and its findings will be made evident in court.”

A law firm named as representing Giamatteo in the court documents did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his behalf.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BB)

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

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