Down But Not Out: BlackBerry Posts Surprise Profit Despite Sagging Sales And Lost Customers

We're starting to think that if a nuclear war breaks out or an asteroid the size of Texas rams into our planet, all that will be left in the aftermath are cockroaches and BlackBerry. Maybe just BlackBerry. Like Rocky Balboa, BlackBerry has taken beating after beating, yet it's still standing, and believe it or not, it's even making a profit.

Well, for this past quarter, anyway. After posting losses of $148 million and $207 million during the company's fiscal third and second quarters of 2015, respectively, BlackBerry somehow managed to get back in the black and come out $28 million ahead in the fourth quarter ended February 28, 2015. It boggles the mind.

It's even more surprising when you look at sales -- $660 million for the quarter, down more than 32 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. It's also the lowest sales have been for the company since halfway through 2006. Sell less, profit more? Apparently so.

BlackBerry Passport

"Our focus this past year was on getting our financial house in order while creating a multi-year growth strategy and investing in our product portfolio. We now have a very good handle on our margins, and our product roadmaps have been well received," said Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen. "The second half of our turnaround focuses on stabilization of revenue with sustainable profitability and cash generation."

So far, it's looking like BlackBerry's solution is simply new blood. After trying every strategy it could think of, including a name change, the company formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM) named John Chen its CEO less than a year and a half ago, and for once it appears BlackBerry has a fighting shot at regaining relevance.

It won't be easy. At one time a leading smartphone maker, BlackBerry's share of the smartphone market is almost nil (0.4 percent as of Q4 2014, according to International Data Corporation). But it's not just about phone sales. BlackBerry's been targeting other platforms with its services and applications, much like Microsoft has been doing. It also continues to bolster its reputation for security with acquisitions like Secusmart.

None of this has been lost on investors. Following news of a profit, BlackBerry's stock rose more than 3 percent to as high as $9.77 per share before settling down to around $9.52.