BlackBerry pleases its meme followers with first-quarter earnings beat

BlackBerry Ltd. stock rose about 1% in the extended session Thursday after the company reported a narrower-than-expected adjusted quarterly loss and sales that beat expectations.

said it lost $62 million, or 11 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, compared with a loss of $636 million, or $1.14 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, the company lost 5 cents a share.

Sales fell to $174 million from $206 million a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected BlackBerry to report an adjusted loss of 6 cents a share on sales of $172 million.

The company highlighted its ongoing pivot from hardware producer to security software outfit, touting $107 million in revenue from its cybersecurity unit in the quarter.

“This quarter we aligned the business around the two key market opportunities: IoT and cybersecurity,” BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement.

Despite telling the Securities and Exchange Commission it would stop doing so in 2021, BlackBerry continued its practice of reporting non-GAAP revenue, or revenue that does not conform with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. 

On a non-GAAP basis, BlackBerry’s operating loss was $23 million, or 5 cents a share. Using GAAP, the losses more than double to $58 million and 11 cents a share, respectively.

Regardless of the accounting practice, the in-line results appeared to please the meme stock’s supporters. The after-hours move reversed a 3.5% loss during regular trading Thursday, and both trading and social-media sentiment volume soared after the company’s disclosure.

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