"Not Dead Yet" BlackBerry Surprises Wall Street With Smaller Losses

BlackBerry took Wall Street by surprise this morning by posting an adjusted third-quarter operating profit, a sign that its comeback strategy and restructuring efforts might be on the right track. However, BlackBerry's revenue tumbled 34 percent year-over-year to $793 million, highlighting the uphill battle that stands ahead of the Canadian handset maker.

For the period ended November 29, 2014, BlackBerry reported a net loss of $148 million, or 28 cents a share. That's much better than the $4.4 billion loss, or $8.37 per share, that it reported a year ago. These figures also come just ahead of BlackBerry's Classic handset launch, which combines today's high-end hardware and specs with BlackBerry's iconic keyboard and trackpad design from yesteryear. It's the company's hope that this throwback in physical design will help regain what was once a loyal fan base.

BlackBerry Bold
Image Source: Flickr (Enrique Dans)

The mixed financial results make it difficult to determine exactly where BlackBerry is headed, which is something investors are having a tough time figuring out as well. In pre-market trading this morning, BlackBerry's stock rose 3 percent. But since the opening bell rang, the company's share price has fallen by about 6.5 percent. Nevertheless, BlackBerry's decision makers feel confident they're on the right path.

"We achieved a key milestone in our eight quarter plan with positive cash flow," said John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry. "Our focus now turns to expanding our distribution and driving revenue growth."

That's going to be a big challenge for BlackBerry, which is competing in a market dominated by Android and iOS (in that order). BlackBerry also trails Microsoft's Windows Phone platform in terms of market share, underscoring how far the company must go in order to be relevant again.