BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) CEO John Chen doesn’t want to Jinx but Upgrades Prospects to 99%


Once upon a time CEO John Chen said it was 50-50 BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSE:BB) would survive, then 6 months ago he upgraded it to 80-20 and then today on Bloomberg they pinned Chen down for his latest percentage on the chances of BlackBerry’s survival. Now the CEO of  BlackBerry laughed and said “hoped by looking at his results we are here to stay”, and even though he didn’t want to make a headline saying 100 percent, he was willing to say 99 percent.

The company reported earnings this morning and while it reported a loss and declining revenue was cash flow positive in the quarter.

Chen had a number of other interesting comments on Bloomberg.

On Revenue Concerns

Chen responded directly to Revenue Growth and said he had been very consistent about it and that the company’s goals were “Positive Cash Flow and Positive Profits before we get to Revenue growth.” He also mentioned that they had launched a lot of products and that he expected revenue growth sometime next year.

He understands the impatience with revenue, but it was important to clear out old inventory and that year over year they’ve cleared out 93% of inventory.

On Demand for Classic, Passport

Demand for the Classic skewed toward older BlackBerry users particularly BlackBerry 9900 users, but the Passport is a lot more mixed with really new users, some win back, and a lot of loyalists.

The company sold through and delivered initial inventory of 200,000 Passports but the lead time was delayed on it.  Many of them were not included in the quarter, because they account for the units when turned on.

On Competing with Apple and IBM in the Enterprise

They always have to take everyone seriously but says they are workflow products and on a proprietary system and that BlackBerry’s solutions are more open orientated and can be run on any devices and they will make broader partnerships like with

Areas of Interest Going Forward

He did not want to discuss acquisitions but is interested in the “IOT World” or Internet of Things world and touted their medical partnerships and to be more aggressive in that world. Bloomberg mentioned Chen would be speaking and unveiling things at Consumer Electronics Show in January. In response, Chen mentioned that they are very strong in connected cars, and that this year they would be showing off a Maserati with their QNX software. He won’t make any other promises for CES but you could see some other things.

Can BlackBerry be iconic again?

Chen says that chances are better and that he is working on it and that he feels good about opportunities for company, their products, roadmap, focus on security, and Internet of Things. He believes that one won’t know unless they execute but he sees a path.

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