April 1, 2016 / 4:31 PM / in a year

BRIEF-BlackBerry says if hardware not profitable by Sept could cut loose

April 1 (Reuters) - BlackBerry CEO tells CNBC that if he can’t get hardware unit to profitability by September will have to seriously consider becoming a software-only company.

BlackBerry CEO says delays in contract negotiations, including With U.S. Carrier Verizon, slowed handset distribution

* BlackBerry CEO john chen says has multiple growth engines in software

* BlackBerry CEO says one area of shortfall was in hardware revenue which declined from last quarter

* BlackBerry CEO says hardware volume shortfall was due to delay in contract talks with some carriers on priv

* BlackBerry CEO says co had numerous software contract wins in the latest quarter

* BlackBerry CEO says company did not generate any intellectual property licensing revenue in the quarter

* BlackBerry says its model reflects a gross margin in the mid to high 40s for the next quarter

* BlackBerry CFO says gross margin in q4 was 48.7 percent, up from 44.9 percent in q3

* BlackBerry says expect to maintain positive free cash flow and positive ebitda for fiscal 2017

* BlackBerry CEO says aims for recurring subscription revenue to make up 80 percent of software revenue in fiscal 2017

* Range type of devices with good security for android

* BlackBerry CEO says people like the priv, but it is a ltd market and top market segment quite saturated right now

* BlackBerry CEO says organic software growth, excluding contribution from good technology acquisition, was 24 percent

* BlackBerry CEO says focusing more on enterprise sales with carriers, less so on retail

* CEO tells cnbc that if he can’t get hardware unit to profitability by september will have to seriously consider becoming a software-only company

* CEO says in Q4 co made progress on all strategic priorities

* BlackBerry CEO says device volumes were below company’s expectations

* , slowed handset distribution

* BlackBerry CEO says halved device operating loss in q4 compared to Q3

* BlackBerry CEO says working on building a base of recurring ip revs

* BlackBerry cfo james yersh says recognized revenue on roughly 600,000 handsets, average selling price about $315

* BlackBerry cfo says generating $6 million in free cash flow in the quarter

* BlackBerry says path to profitability in device business looks quite reasonable

* BlackBerry CEO , when asked about strategic importance of hardware business, says priority is growing software and services program

* BlackBerry CEO says needs to see growth & profitability from hardware for co to stick with business

* BlackBerry CEO says now need 3 million unit sales to breakeven in hardware, if asp stays around $300 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Alastair Sharp)

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