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BlackBerry (BBRY) Stock Up on CEO’s 'Priv' Comments

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BlackBerry (BBRY - Get Report) stock is rising by 1.68% to $7.28 in afternoon trading on Thursday, after CEO John Chen told The Verge he wants to sell five million smartphones annually.

Speaking at the Code Mode conference, Chen suggested the company would abandon the smartphone business if sales did not improve, The Verge reports.

About 41% of the Blackberry revenue for the fiscal 2016 second quarter came from hardware, while 43% was from service access fees and 15% was from software and services, but the mobile communications company sold only 800,000 mobile devices.

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Chen is counting on the release of BlackBerry's first Android-powered smartphone, called "Priv", which will launch by the end of the year.

The company had said it plans to continue developing and updating the BlackBerry 10 operating system, but the security-focused operating system and phones are used by industries that need the high-security features, including governments and hospitals, The Verge noted.

BlackBerry is committed to servicing...