BlackBerry cancels earnings call for Q2 results; highlights app development

While Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker BlackBerry will still release it second quarter financial results on Friday, it won’t be talking to financial analysts about them.

Like most publicly-traded companies, BlackBerry traditionally holds a conference call with analysts and press each quarter following the release of its quarterly earnings, where company executives take questions on the results. However, BlackBerry said Wednesday that the call to accompany its Q2 earnings release on Friday was cancelled.

“In light of the letter of intent agreement between BlackBerry and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited that was signed and announced on Monday, September 23, BlackBerry has cancelled its second quarter earnings conference call and webcast that had previously been scheduled for Friday, September 27 at 8:00 a.m,” said the company in a statement. “The company will publish further details regarding its second quarter results in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis and consolidated financial statements, to be filed next week.”

BlackBerry is scheduled to release its Q2 results on Friday at 7:00 am eastern time, but last Friday in an extraordinary move it gave investors an advance look at the figures; it wasn’t good. The vendor warned it would post a loss of nearly $1 billion on the quarter, largely attribute to the write-down of as much as $960 million in excess smartphone inventory. It also announced the layoff of 4,500 employees – 40 per cent of its workforce – and the reduction of its smartphone model lineup from six devices to four as part of a strategy shift away from consumers to focus on the prosumer and enterprise space.

The following Monday, BlackBerry announced a letter of intent with Fairfax Financial Holdings that, if successful, would take the company private in a $4.7 billion deal. Fairfax still needs to complete due diligence and find the necessary financing; it could walk away or other suitors could also come forward.

BlackBerry tried to accentuate the positive on Tuesday, highlighting a series of wins for its enterprise mobile device management offerings, including BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. And on Thursday, it sought to highlight some of the top brands developing apps for the Blackberry 10 platform, some of which are being showcased at this week’s BlackBerry Jam Asia Developer Conference in Hong Kong. Among the brands mentioned are Bloomberg and Evernote in the business and productivity space, ABC Family and E! Online in entertainment and multimedia, Angry Birds-GO! In gaming and FlipBoard in news and publications.

“BlackBerry has a strong lineup of top brands building great applications for BlackBerry 10,” said Martyn Mallick, vice-president of BlackBerry World and global alliances at BlackBerry, in a statement. “We remain focused on bringing relevant, sought-after apps to the BlackBerry World storefront, and we are excited to announce and welcome these new partners to BlackBerry 10.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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