BUSINESS

BlackBerry's Q1 Revenues Will Underwhelm, Analysts Say

06/22/2015 02:08 EDT | Updated 06/22/2015 04:59 EDT

BlackBerry is expected to report another disappointing chapter this week in Canada’s favourite will-they-or-won’t-they turnaround story.

Analysts estimate the embattled company will report around $690 million in first-quarter revenues, falling about 30 per cent short of where they were a year ago — suggesting the company’s transition from handsets to software has so far netted low sales results, according to the Globe and Mail.

Still, BlackBerry CEO John Chen has said he expects the company can earn nearly that amount in software sales alone by the end of 2016.

The company has managed to remain profitable in recent quarters, mostly through cost-cutting measures. Its latest round of layoffs came in May to reduce the size of its device-making business in an effort to make it profitable.

Chen has been trying to shift the company’s priorities away from its devices, which have waned in popularity, since joining the company in 2013. He is instead focused on BlackBerry’s software services aimed at businesses and government users.

The company began to turn a small profit in 2014 after several tough years, but revenues from its phones and software businesses are shrinking. Analysts expect hardware sales to continue to decline despite of the introduction of the new Passport and Classic handsets, both of which offered BlackBerry’s signature physical keyboard, the Globe reported.

A analyst noted cited in the Financial Post said observers at Exane BNP Paribas “fail to see a meaningful traction of BlackBerry’s latest handsets in the highly competitive mid/high-end smartphone market.”

Some analysts are calling for the company to exit the handset space altogether.

BlackBerry will report its results after markets close on Tuesday.

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