BlackBerry’s string of recent success may have hit a snag

Technology company posts disappointing sales figures

The sales figures represent a negative note in an otherwise strong year for BlackBerry. Photograph: Reuters

BlackBerry’s string of recent success may have hit a snag.

The Canadian company, which exited the hardware business last year, missed analyst estimates for total revenue, the majority of which is now made up of software sales. Revenue excluding some costs was $244 million (€218 million) in the fiscal first quarter compared with the average analyst estimate of $265.4 million.

The shares fell as much as 11 per cent in early trading.

The lower-than-projected sales struck a negative note in what has otherwise been a banner year for the Ontario-based company. Shares have surged more than 60 pe rcent as investors started treating BlackBerry like the growing software company it has turned itself into. An $814 million windfall awarded to end a dispute with Qualcomm over royalty payments and positive comments from short seller Andrew Left didn't hurt either.



The Qualcomm payment bolstered BlackBerry's cash reserves, which could now top $2 billion according to Macquarie analyst Gus Papageorgiou. That means chief executive John Chen could resume making acquisitions to bolster software revenue, a tactic that helped replace some of the firm's evaporating hardware sales over the last three years.