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BlackBerry misses profit estimates amid turnaround efforts

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BlackBerry Ltd reported a first-quarter loss that missed analysts' estimates as sales from smartphones dropped.

[TORONTO] BlackBerry Ltd reported a first-quarter loss that missed analysts' estimates as sales from smartphones dropped.

The loss excluding certain items was 5 cents a share in the period that ended May 30, Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry said on Tuesday in a statement. Analysts predicted a loss of 4 cents, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer John Chen set a goal of doubling yearly software revenue to US$500 million by March 2016 as the company seeks to reduce its reliance on shrinking smartphone sales. It's bought three security-focused software companies since July, including Secusmart GmbH, a provider of anti- eavesdropping technology whose clients include German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Smartphone revenue fell to about US$263 million from US$379 million in the first quarter of last year. It was the first full quarter where its new keyboard-equipped Classic phone was available.

Software revenue was US$137 million, compared with US$67 million in the fourth quarter.

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The shares have declined 16 per cent this year through Monday.

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