Blackberry (BBRY.O) reported a loss on Friday as CEO John Chen reduced costs, but a drop of 64 percent share revenue plunge underscored the challenge the new CEO faces to turn around the struggling phone maker.
The Canadian firm has lost most of its phone market to Google's (GOOG.O) Android powered gadgets and Apple's (AAPL.O) iPhones and laid off thousands, agreeing to sell its real estate properties.
Chen expects a positive or neutral cash flow by end of the current fiscal year, which runs to early March next year, and does not expect profit nor revenue growth till sometime in the next fiscal year. Chen made the staements on Friday afternoon, at a round table with the media.
According to Analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners technology, John Chen did what he is known for. Gillis noted the firm's steep revenue drop and added that the CEO is buying some time.
BlackBerry's administration, marketing and selling costs fell 35 percent, while expenses for research and development fell 24 percent during the fourth quarter compared to a year ago. The company's share of the worldwide smartphone market was below one percent at the end of 2013.
Its stock shares rose during the early trading, but closed at $8.41 and 7.1 percent. In early 2011, the Nasdaq-listed shares were trading above $60 but steeply dropped that year and have not managed to rise above $20 since.
BlackBerry's revenue share from hardware continues to fall in the quarter, from 40 percent to 37 percent. During the fourth quarter of last year, the share was 61 percent.
Analyst Brian Colello of Morningstar said the company's reduction of operating expense is, to a point, encouraging. The big question though remains what the company can do on the side of improving demand. So far, its moves are related to internal and supply matters but strong signs of an improving demand are still to be expected.
Under Chen, the Ontario-based company is focusing on services which manage the mobile devices on big clients' internal networks. Portfolio Manager Ross Healy at MacNicol & Associates, said BlackBerry is becoming an attractive target for acquisition. While you can cut your way to profitability, you cannot cut your way to revenue, he added.