Why BlackBerry Stock Lost 19% in December

MarketsMotley Fool

What happened

Shares of BlackBerry (NYSE: BB) trailed the market by a wide margin last month, shedding 19% compared to a 9% slump in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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The drop put the stock at a two-year low, with shares having lost nearly half of their value in 2018.

So what

Investors weren't pleased with the software and services provider's fiscal third-quarter results, released late in the month, despite generally strong operating numbers. Reported sales slipped 3%, but only because of a change in BlackBerry's accounting approach. On a non-GAAP basis, earnings per share, revenue, and free cash flow all expanded at double-digit rates.

Now what

CEO John Chen and his executive team affirmed all of their fiscal 2019 targets and still expect healthy sales growth and a double-digit jump in billings. Over the longer term, the company expects its shift into software and services will help gross profit margin reach 85% from the current 76% perch. Executives will have their hands full in working to integrate the newly acquired Cylance business over the next few quarters, though. The purchase could open up new growth avenues in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, but for now investors are taking a wait-and-see approach to the $1.4 billion purchase.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BlackBerry. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.