“Not good enough”.
That’s the answer John Chen gave BNN’s Amber Kanwar this morning when asked if he would sell the company’s BlackBerry Messenger service if someone were to offer $2-billion for it.
Kanwar was on site to speak with the BlackBerry boss following the company’s Q1, 2015 results this morning, which saw the it post a surprise profit of (US) $23-million or four cents a share on revenue of $966-million. Street consensus had the quarter pegged at a loss of $0.25 on a $979-million topline.
The BNN reporter’s line of questioning came in response to Chen’s assertion that BBM could generate $100-million in revenue by 2016.
Chen says one of the first things he focused on when taking the CEO role on November 4th of last year was to monetize the company’s assets. He says he felt a pure consumer focus, like the tack taken by peer WhatsApp, was not the route for BlackBerry.
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“We decided the most important thing was to make BBM part of the enterprise,” said Chen, adding that he sees real growth in a secure messaging platform that can augment itself with services such as mobile payments. “It’s a value added solution for our server technology,” said Chen. “It’s very strategic to us.”
BBM was made available cross-platform on October 21st of last year and quickly became the top free app in the both the Google Play store and the Apple App Store, and the service nearly doubled its user base instantly. BBM now boasts 160-million subscribers and 85-million monthly active users. The company has also announced that it would make BBM available for Windows phones later this summer.
At press time, shares of BlackBerry were up 10.2% to $9.92