John Chen may have built a reputation as a guy who can turn things around for struggling companies, but when he became the CEO of BlackBerry back in 2013, most people had little hope that he’d be able to breathe new life into the company. However, due in large part to the release of its first Android smartphone, BlackBerry actually managed to achieve its first quarter-on-quarter increase in revenue in more than two years. It’s definitely not a comeback, but it’s a sign that whatever Chen is doing is having a noticeably positive effect.
For a company whose death has been declared multiple times, BlackBerry looked pretty good Friday. The company reported its financials for the quarter that beat all expectations and rekindled a belief that chief executive John Chen’s reputation as a turnaround expert can stay intact. While it’s far too early to call it a full comeback for the once-dominant smartphone company, investors were cheered by news of stronger sales in hardware and software. The stock closed more than 10 percent higher on Friday, ending regular trading at $8.61. The company, overall, reported a net loss of $89 million — an improvement form the $148 million the company lost in the same period last year. Despite that, investors saw much to be optimistic. BlackBerry is, truly, working on becoming more of a software company, trading on its still-sterling reputation for being security conscious. BlackBerry has worked to put its device management software on competitors phones, broadening its reach and reduce its reliance on breaking into a smartphone market dominated by Apple and Samsung. The company reported that it made $162 million in revenue on software and services, an increase of 183 percent from the same period last year.