Blackberry slips after 4th-quarter earnings miss forecasts amid global chip shortage

FILE PHOTO: A Blackberry sign is seen in front of their offices on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Canada in this June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
FILE PHOTO: File photo of Blackberry sign seen in front of their offices on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo

Shares of Blackberry slipped 9% Wednesday after the communications software firm revealed fourth-quarter revenues that missed expectations even on improved QNX car software sales amid a global chip shortage.

The company, which has pivoted to selling security software to government and companies ever since it shuttered its hardware unit, reported earnings per share that tumbled 66% year-on-year to $0.03.

The Canadian company also reported revenues of $210 million in the quarter ended February 28, slipping 26% from $282 million in the same period last year. It was below analysts' expectations of $245.1 million, according to Refinitiv.

Net loss meanwhile widened to $315 million, or 56 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, down 142% from $130 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The company on its Tuesday earnings call said that demand for its QNX car software, which is used by major carmakers from Volkswagen to Ford Motor, has been slow to recover due to the scarcity of the required chip component. Chip shortages heightened during the endemic as supply from Asia could not meet the demand from the West.

"This has been an exceptional year to navigate, however, we are pleased with QNX's continued recovery, despite new challenges from the global chip shortage," said BlackBerry CEO John Chen in a statement.

In January, BlackBerry found itself in the middle of a Reddit-driven retail short squeeze frenzy alongside other favorites such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment. It was one of the "stonks" or stocks with convoluted prospects and received major attention. Blackberry so far gained nearly 28% year to date.

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