Stock valuation floor.
The stock valuation floor of any company is potentially $ 0. If anybody buys anything it will only be the patents.
As BlackBerry struggles to regain its footing following the disastrous second quarter of its fiscal 2014, US wireless carrier T-Mobile has announced that it will no longer carry the Canadian firm's smartphones in its retail stores. T-Mobile executive VP of corporate services David Carey told Reuters that demand for BlackBerry …
If I recall correctly, it was K-Mart where the stock price tanked towards zero. Somebody clever started buying like crazy because K-Mart's real estate holdings and other assets were worth several times the Market Cap, even accounting for taste... ...I mean liabilities. Blackberry should be worth something, even as a lifeless carcass.
Of course, I wonder how come there are hundreds of little companies making hundreds of models of mobile phones? It shouldn't be lethal to be in 5th (?) place, amongst dozens of players.
"The stock valuation floor of any company is potentially $ 0. If anybody buys anything it will only be the patents."
Au contraire, mate, there's some good pickings on this carcass. Not only are there substantial (if declining) revenues from customers, but there's plenty of tangible assets on the balance sheet, and more staff to be fired to prop up the P&L. To avoid repeating myself:
Fairfax aren't stupid, they could double their money by a controlled two year shutdown of Blackberry. The main things to consider are that the brand is now all but worthless, the work in progress is worthless, the customer base is evaporating, and there's no chance of turning this round. In which case you approach the business like an administrator, looking to minimise outflows, maximise inflows, and recover the most money you can, rather than trying to pretend this is an enduring business.
Vultures fulfil a useful function of cleaning things up; in this case they have been circling for a while, all wanting a piece of the action, but not wanting to move too soon. For real vultures you want to make sure you don't get eaten by a real predator, for the financial vultures they are just trying to strike a balance between waiting for things to get bad enough for a good price, but hoping not to let somebody else gazump them. It'll be sad to see Blackberry go, but go they must.
The same story of corporate life and death will be told many times again; I'm looking forward to the day that it will feature Microsoft.
I want a Q10 - yes, I do - and I asked Vodafone about 6 weeks ago if they'd put one under a desk for me so I can have it in July when I can upgrade, because I was worried Blackberry would have gone bump by then.
I was only half-joking, and Vodafone said no.
They should have taken me a little more seriously, because Blackberry will have probably gone bump by then :(
I waited to buy a new phone for the launch of the Z10 but they missed my price point by a wide margin for an unlocked unit and I figured it would be quite a while before I figured the price would drop to a point I considered acceptable so I bought another make. Now of course it's a bit below what I had paid for my current phone and I'd be happy to switch if I didn't have this other brand new phone.
Like Microsoft, Blackberry is obsessed with consumers to the the extent they forgot that they make the vast majority of their money from business.
If you want to branch out into consumer markets with phones now, you really have to have a good product as you're competing against some tough competition - Apple and Samsung. Just producing a touchscreen phone doesn't cut it.
I'm hoping Microsoft wakes up too, and realises that damaging their business interests to try and capture a few teenage customers is not a good business plan.
To an extent. BB lost market share in the enterprise because people started integrating their iPhones into the corporate networks because they were shinier and BB's differentiating features (e.g. email push) became less relevant with cheap Wifi/3G connectivity being ubiquitous. Once they starting losing their core business customers, they were in trouble.
Many people don't want a relatively boring business like tool, they want the latest shiny. In the early noughties, the shiny /was/ a Blackberry, now it's an iPhone (or S4, or whatever). BB failed to keep up with the trends and didn't have a desirable enough platform so people are leaving.
iPhone and Android devices support (or at least support*ed*, in the case of Android) Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol, which does email 'push' over HTTP/S - so you can hook them straight up to an Exchange server (2003 SP2 or higher) or any other server that implements EAS, and you just need a normal data plan rather than Blackberry-specific plans.
(Technically, EAS Direct Push is actually client pull - the server just doesn't reply to the client's request until it has something to send or the connection is about to time out.)
The integration between Exchange and the Blackberry Enterprise Server was always one of the big pain points, so I heard. Many Exchange admins would probably be glad to bury BES and BB in a ditch somewhere.
It appears that BB10 synchronizes email using the EAS protocol - this allows a BB10 device to be used for push email without BES. Not clear whether BES10 wraps its tentacles round the heart of the Exchange server when it is installed, though, or merely acts as a man-in-the-middle extending the server's responses.
Localzuk - Your sentiment is right but it is one of life's great myths that BlackBerry makes the vast majority of their money from business. That is why they are circling the porcelain pan now. That is why the jobs massacre.
Business customers are more profitable but only represent about 10-20% of customers. The current plan of ditch everything but business, is probably the "least worst" plan. Even if firing 10,000 employees and rightsizing happens there is no longer the guarantee that the business customers will stay with what will then be a tiny niche proprietary vendor that lacks scale to innovate like the big boys. Remember in the past there were NO competitors at all. The situation is very different now. Blackberry still has an edge in areas like security but there are now plenty of credible alternatives which are stronger in other areas.
That is why the stock price continues to fall away even though there is a theoretical $9 base. The market is saying this is just sending good money after bad.
Coming to Blackberry as a newbie last month I was struck by the extent of jargon in the Blackberry manual. Services are described only in as far as how to set them up -- no overview of what they are or why I needed them.
So I explicitly don't want to be involved with Blackberry's services until I fully grasp the benefits (or costs). I know I don't need push e-mail, and I know few people on Blackberry Messaging. Nevertheless I find I'm getting pointless Facebook notifications pushed to my phone.
Similarly confused consumers must have made Blackberry more labour intensive to support for the telcos. T Mobile know their business so we can assume that others will follow suit.
It's the end of Blackberry's retail products -- if the hardware continues at all it'll be supplied direct to businesses. If they are to be a purely service provider they'd better get their act together porting to Android and iPhone a bit better than the botched launch recently.
>"We believe the Fairfax initiative is unlikely to come to fruition and see the next valuation floor for the stock at $5," one Bernstein analyst has reportedly told his clients
This has been going on for years now, with so-called-analysts constantly trying to drive the share price down and assure everyone that BB are doomed. No, they're not in a good place, yes, they missed the boat with apps and the speed with which consumers turned to full-touch-screen and use phones more as a fun tool, but they don't deserve to be constantly ground into the dirt by people saying "BB should just go away and close up shop" - do you honestly wish unemployment on thousands of people just because you don't like their product?? I don't particularly like Android or iPhones, but I'd never wish the companies to go bust!
I like the Z10, I like the BB10 interface, and am very much hoping they can restore some dignity and user confidence back into the brand, and continue ensuring we have a choice in the phone market.
The Man in Black. The problem with your argument is that the "bloody analysts" would probably respond that at the end of the day they called it right. They might respond along the lines that it is appalling management and not "bloody analysts" that have destroyed a once fine company. They might even ask you what these people were doing buying big fat velvet lined corporate jets while firing thousands of employees. Or handing out $55,000,000 golden parachutes to executives that have fired thousands and halved sales revenues.
They might say if you want to fix the problem there is a far more obvious place to look than them?
As a shareholder I know I am....
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