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BlackBerry just lost more money in one quarter than it made in the past four years

By Leo Mirani
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The numbers: Disastrous. BlackBerry lost $4.4 billion (pdf) on revenue of $1.2 billion in the quarter to Nov. 30. That almost makes the previous quarter seem like the good old days, when the company lost a mere $965 million. To put this quarter’s number in perspective, BlackBerry’s losses over the past three months exceeded its net income for the 16 quarters before that put together: In the four years to the end of August, Blackberry made a total of $4.2 billion.

The takeaway: Despite the appalling numbers, the quarter may not be quite as as bad as it seems. Just as the previous quarter’s losses were inflated by a massive writedown the company took on its Z10 smartphone, adjusting for one-time expenses such as impairment charges this quarter brings BlackBerry’s losses down to a less mind-boggling $354 million. Still bad, but it’s no Hindenburg.

What’s interesting: BlackBerry isn’t ready to give up the ghost just yet. The company has signed a five-year manufacturing deal with Foxconn so it can cut expenses and focus on software. And it is worth keeping an eye on QNX, a little-known maker of operating systems BlackBerry owns, which is poised to hold a commanding position in the coming market for connected-car operating systems.

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