(Bloomberg) – BlackBerry Ltd. fell as much as 7.3% after three analysts downgraded the stock, but CEO John Chen asked for patience and said it is boosting the sales force to improve growth. .
The Waterloo, Ontario-based software company posted $ 174 million in revenue for the fiscal first quarter ending May 31, down 16% from the same period last year. Analysts had expected sales of $ 178 million.
“We are hiring a lot of people, especially in the sales force. We’ve had some luck recently, so we’re hoping for good things, ”Chen said in an interview on BNN Bloomberg Television. The company expects to have 23% more salespeople in August than it employed in March, he said.
When asked about the company’s turnaround, Chen said, “Sure, this is taking longer than I expected. But I can certainly see the progress, so we will be patient. ” BlackBerry, which rose to fame as the maker of some of the first smartphones, now focuses on cybersecurity and internet of things software, serving the automotive industry and beyond.
In their sales, analysts mentioned slow growth in the software and services segment, and the effects of the global chip shortage, which is affecting auto production. BlackBerry’s QNX car software is installed in about 195 million vehicles, according to the company.
The shares are up nearly 80% this year after catching up with retail traders on Reddit and other platforms. “We recommend waiting for a more attractive entry point,” wrote Todd Coupland, an analyst at CIBC World Markets, in a note to clients.
Analysts at TD Securities and Canaccord Genuity also lowered BlackBerry’s rating to sell equivalent on Friday. However, the company’s ongoing negotiations to sell its patent portfolio could provide a capital boost, wrote Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord. “If management comes to an agreement to sell the licensing business, we believe this could help unlock value and as an injection of capital.”
At Wednesday’s annual meeting, Chen emphasized the company’s growth prospects despite recent challenges.
Original Note: BlackBerry CEO Says Turnaround ‘Taking Longer Than I Expected’
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