If the price action of the stock is any indication, what looked like a blowout report for BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) wasn’t all that great once investors and analysts started digging in.
Probably the biggest headline to come from the release is the EPS number. Benzinga reported on Tuesday that the consensus number was $-0.39 per share which was later revised by the street to a 30 cent loss. That number came in at a positive $0.22 cents per share. (Yes, positive, not negative.) That alone caused the stock to spike more than nine percent when it reopened for trading around 7:30AM.
According to CEO Thorsten Heins, “We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter.”
That’s great news, but revenue came in at $2.68 billion versus consensus of $2.84 billion—down two percent from the previous quarter. Revenue and EPS are important but investors really wanted to see how many Z10s the company shipped.
Revenue numbers broke down to 61 percent for hardware, 36 percent for service and three percent for software and other revenue. A total of 6 million smartphones were shipped along with 370,000 BlackBerry PlayBook Tablets.
ON CNBC Thursday morning, Michael Genovese of MKM Partners said he was concerned about the loss of BlackBerry’s subscriber base. According to Genovese, the company now considers a subscriber somebody that owns a BlackBerry device instead of somebody who owns a device and has a data plan.
The company reported losing three million subscribers—an alarming number on its own but with the new definition of a subscriber, that number could be significantly higher—as high as nine million.
Next, don’t confuse one million Z10 phones “sold” with “shipped.” The release says, “shipped” which is an indication of supplier orders. Whether companies like AT&T (NYSE: T) will see impressive demand for the phones is still unclear but analysts are mixed.
In a research note earlier in the week, Goldman Sachs wasn’t optimistic. “The Z10 launch at AT&T on March 22 was disappointing, with limited marketing and tepid sell-through at AT&T and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) stores alike. While we thought the international launch was solid, the US launch is critical for BlackBerry’s ultimate success.”
In a Jefferies notes, Peter Misek said, “We checked with 30+ stores following the Z10's launch on 3/22. We think demand is slightly better than our very modest expectations. Our checks also indicate that AT&T Business is seeing significant interest and could account for a meaningful portion of demand.” As of 8:30 am EST, the stock had given back it’s nine percent gain and is now flat.
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