BlackBerry reviewing its product lines, may split off some businesses

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Tired of seeing its stock slowly dropping over the past 12 months, and after reporting a loss for the last fiscal year, BlackBerry said Monday its board is reviewing the cybersecurity company’s portfolio of businesses.

One alternative, the company said in a press release: Separation of one or more of BlackBerry’s businesses.

That could mean splitting off or selling its QNX Neutrino operating system for embedded systems and/or its Ivy OS for the automotive sector from its enterprise security products.

The company is already split into two divisions: Cyber Security, which includes the Cylance line of enterprise products and BlackBerry Spark UEM (unified endpoint management); and IoT, which includes QNX, Ivy and other products.

“While IoT is expected to grow, the decline in cybersecurity, licensing, and other business units will result in an overall decrease in BlackBerry’s revenue,” one financial analyst noted in March. “The market,” he added, “believes that BlackBerry’s strategic investments will enable it to generate strong earnings growth in the future, overcoming the short-term challenges it faces.”

There is no deadline for completion of the product review.

The announcement comes a month after Waterloo, Ont., headquartered BlackBerry announced its fiscal 2023 results for the year ending Feb. 28. The company lost US$756 million on revenue of US$656 million for the 12 months, a drop of eight per cent from the previous year. That represented a loss per share under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of US$1.27 a share over the previous year.

Its stock has gone from a high of just over CDN$9.00 on the Toronto Stock Exchange to CDN$5.26 today.

The announcement also comes after BlackBerry sold its non-core patents and patent applications to Malikie Innovations for a combination of cash at closing and potential future royalties that could be worth up to US$900 million.

Last week, at RSA Conference 2023, BlackBerry announced an overhaul of its Cylance line.

“BlackBerry is executing on a strong, well-resourced plan to deliver revenue and ARR (annual recurring revenue) growth, as well as significant improvements in non-GAAP EPS  (earnings per share) and cashflow this fiscal year,” CEO John Chen said in a statement.

“Although we expect achievement of this plan to deliver significant shareholder benefits, we do not believe that this is fully reflected in the market’s current valuation of the company. Accordingly, the board and management believe it is an appropriate time to initiate a comprehensive review of the company’s portfolio.

“The review aims to identify and evaluate opportunities to further enhance shareholder value. As we undertake this review, we remain fully focused on delivering our plan and remain committed to our customers, partners and employees.”

BlackBerry says more than 55 of the world’s automotive original equipment manufacturers, are customers. Vehicle manufacturers Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Toyota and Volkswagen are also customers. It is working to add Cylance endpoint protection capabilities to vehicles, the company said at January’s Consumer Electronics Show. 

The post BlackBerry reviewing its product lines, may split off some businesses first appeared on IT World Canada.
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.


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