UPDATE 3-BlackBerry posts weaker-than-expected results, pledges revenue gain

Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:55am EDT
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(Adds comments from conference call, analyst; updates share price move)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results on Friday but forecast higher revenue and said it might replace its operating system with Google Inc's Android platform.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which is pursuing a turnaround plan based on selling more software, said it expected modest revenue growth in the remaining two quarters of this fiscal year, after nine quarters of falling sales, and a return to profitability in the fourth quarter.

It also confirmed widely expected plans to launch an Android smartphone later this year. This marked a shift away from its own BlackBerry 10 platform that failed to regain market share ceded to Apple Inc's iPhone and a slew of Android-powered devices.

"This phone is the answer for former BlackBerry users who miss the physical keyboard but also need apps," Chief Executive Officer John Chen said on a conference call.

The company could jettison its own platform if the Android device gains acceptance with its core base of government and financial industry clients, Chen added.

BlackBerry shares, which fell as much as 8 percent before the morning bell, were down 2.7 percent at $6.84 in morning Nasdaq trading.

"What they said on the call, speaking more about the outlook as opposed to the results itself, painted a less bleak picture," said Cormark analyst Richard Tse.   Continued...