It looks like Canadian tech firm BlackBerry's (BBRY) comeback is now more than just speculation. On Friday, shares of the company soared by more than 12% following an earnings announcement that soundly beat Wall Street's expectations. Shares rose again on Monday by less than 1%. But should investors take a slice of BlackBerry's pie?
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, BlackBerry announced a 12.2% year-over-year hike in adjusted revenue from software and services to $193 million.
This is a good sign for BlackBerry and its investors.
The company was an early smartphone pioneer, debuting the first mobile device with email capabilities back in 1999. At the peak of its popularity, BlackBerry's products were ubiquitous; even President Barack Obama didn't leave home without one.
But then Apple (AAPL - Get Report) unveiled the iPhone in 2007. Thanks to this overwhelming success - as well as the popularity of Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) Android platform - BlackBerry's devices quickly became outmoded and outdated.
And its stock crashed as well, plunging from a peak above $230 per share in 2007 to less than $6 per share only six years later. Today BlackBerry's priced at less than $8 per share.
In 2013, BlackBerry began a strategic overhaul, replacing CEO Thorsten Heins with John Chen. Under Chen, the company has refocused its business from manufacturing smartphones to developing software and cyber-security products.
According to Friday's earnings report, this shift is working in BlackBerry's favor.
"Looking ahead to fiscal 2018, we expect to grow at or above the overall market in our software business," Chen said in a statement on Friday.
On a year-over-year basis, the company narrowed its loss from $238 million or 45 cents per share, to $47 million, or 10 cents per share (the fourth-quarter 2015 loss had included a loss of $127 million related to an asset sale).
The company also slashed its operating expenses by a sizable chunk -- down by 49% to $229 million. And on an adjusted basis, fourth-quarter revenue came in at $297 million, versus the consensus expectation of $289.3 million.
As the company continues to build out its profitable software and enterprise businesses, investors who get in when stock prices are still low could enjoy some considerable gains.
As for the cellphone business, BlackBerry has moved to outsourcing its handset manufacturing, and Chinese firm TCL (TCCLF) is hinting that it has big plans for the brand, including several new models this year. Who knows - we all might be glued to our BlackBerry devices yet again.
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