BlackBerry profit rises as 1 million BB10 devices shipped

7:35 AM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
Blackberry Z10 (Mark Lennihan, AP)
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(USA TODAY) -- Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry saw its profits rise during the fourth quarter, as it awaits consumer response to the launch of the BlackBerry Z10.

The company says it shipped 6 million smartphones during the last quarter, including 1 million devices using its critical BlackBerry 10 operating system. Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY) were volatile in pre-market trading and gave up early gains to trade 0.12% lower.

Last week, BlackBerry launched the Z10 touchscreen smartphone in the U.S. for AT&T. The device is also available on the T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless networks.

The launch of the Z10 is key to BlackBerry, as it hopes to regain momentum in the highly competitive smartphone industry. The company says it will ratchet up marketing for BlackBerry 10 devices during the first quarter of its upcoming fiscal year.

Heins says demand for the Z10 has been "better than expected," claiming 55% of the smartphone's global customers are coming from outside platforms.

The company reported a quarterly profit of $98 million, or 19 cents per share, vs. a $125 million loss for the quarter last year. Last quarter, BlackBerry reported $9 million in net income.

BlackBerry's fourth-quarter revenue was $2.7 billion, down 2% from the previous quarter and 36% lower than the same quarter in 2012. The company reported 76 million subscribers, down 3 million from the third quarter.

"We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter," said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry.

For fiscal 2013, the company reported $11.1 billion in revenue, down 40% from the previous year.

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