BlackBerry Ltd’s hardware segment ’empty calories’ as company expected to reveal worst three-month sales since 2006

Goldman Sachs says BlackBerry Ltd CEO John Chen faces a bigger challenge this year as the company must move from just cutting costs to driving revenues.

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. are trading near the lowest level this season leading up to the release of fourth-quarter results that are expected to cap the worst three-month sales performance for that company since 2006.

Analysts estimate BlackBerry will record revenue of just US$790 million for the period ending Feb. 28, almost 20% lower compared to the same time last fiscal year, according to data published by Bloomberg. BlackBerry can also be expected to slip back into the red following a surprise adjusted earnings per be part of the third quarter snapped a streak of six consecutive quarterly losses.

Its shares fell 2.6% Wednesday to $11.61 in Toronto, having already dropped 8.9% this year.

One of the reasons why the sales estimate is so dismal is because its new Classic device became available in Europe and U.S. midway through the quarter, a delay that Scotia Capital analyst Daniel Chan estimates will push back the recording of revenue on as much as 400,000 smartphones towards the company’s next fiscal year.

Recognition is going to be even further delayed as BlackBerry waits to record the sale until a wireless carrier sells the smartphone to its customer. In both cases, the sales aren’t lost, just deferred.

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