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Is BlackBerry on the road to recovery?

ORLANDO (Florida) — Delegates gathering here in Orlando for this week’s BlackBerry Live conference might be witnessing another episode in the possible renaissance of a former leader in the tech industry.

With sales of its new touchscreen Z10 phone apparently matching BlackBerry’s expectations and with its Q10 model, which retains the iconic QWERTY key-pad that hardcore fans love, generally getting the thumbs-up, there is a sense in some quarters that the company may have finally turned a corner after a very challenging few years.
A classic example of "if you can't beat them, join them"... Big Grin

BlackBerry Messenger to go on competitors’ platforms

ORLANDO, Florida--BlackBerry is taking a bold step in its push to regain its position as a leader in the smartphone market by making its popular messaging system available on competitors’ platforms.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will come as a free app later this year that is compatible with Android and Apple devices, which will result in users being able to use the service to communicate with a much wider circle of people rather than only those who own a BlackBerry.
Quite a bit of buzz on Q10, but does the sale figure able to catch-up...Big Grin

New BlackBerrys tested at majority of top US firms

TORONTO — Sixty per cent of United States Fortune 500 companies are already testing or using the system to manage BlackBerry’s new line of devices, the company said yesterday (June 5) as US carriers began to roll out its new keyboard-equipped Q10 smartphone.

The Q10, which comes with the tiny physical keyboard that many BlackBerry fans admire, is the second device powered by the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.
I was actually considering taking a position in Blackberry after having the opportunity to fiddle with a Z10 for a few minutes. It's a good phone. I think it is a good option to the Samsungs. BB diehards are raving about it. No bad comments (would BB fan give bad comments?), even more hardy than Apple fanboys.

The bad thing about the new BBs is that you need a new BES server to manage these devices in the enterprise. The old BES does not provide management capabilities, only connectivity support. So adoption rate in enterprise would take time.

The good news is BBRY is allowing free upgrade of the BES. Hopefully enterprise do migrate so enterprise sales would pick up. BBRY had a stranglehold in the enterprise, but the hold is quite loose now.
Over 5 Million BlackBerry 10 Devices Sold in Q1, says Analyst

RBC Capital's Mark Sue

Sue is now looking for BlackBerry 10 device shipments around 3.5 million in Q1 and around 4 million in Q2. The analyst had previously estimated units at 2.75 million for Q1 and at 3 million for Q2. Sue raised his CY13 unit estimate from 11 million to 14 million.

The analyst moved his Q1 EPS and sales estimates from $(0.10) to $0.09 and from $3.1 billion to $3.5 billion, respectively. The Q2 EPS estimate was lifted from $0.04 to 0.14 and Sue's sales estimate was raised from $3 billion to $3.5 billion.

Sue now sees BlackBerry reporting a profit during FY14: his EPS estimate moved from $(0.04) to $0.35. Full-year sales are now expected to be about $13.5 billion, up sharply from the prior $11.7 billion estimate.

Various estimates i am reading from 3.5m to 5m!

Market cap of Blackberry = 7546m @ price of 14.4

Valuation of Blackberry

NCAV = 3653m (48.4% of market cap)

PPE and Intangible Assets = 2395 + 3448 = 5843m.
I value it at 1/3 conservatively so that gives me 1948m.

Valuation = NCAV + Conservative measure of PPE and Intangible Assets - LT Liab = 3653m + 1948m - 257m = 5344m (~70% of market cap)

sounds good if downside is capped at 30% when the upside is huge if BB10 sells well... Cool

Can Blackberry be a turnaround stock coined by Peter Lynch?
A classic case of "if you can't beat them, join them"...Big Grin

Will BleackBerry survive by focusing on back-end service?

BlackBerry launches secure workspace for Android, Apple devices

TORONTO — BlackBerry launched a service yesterday that will allow government agencies and corporate clients to secure and manage devices powered by Google’s Android platform and Apple’s iOS operating system.

The long-anticipated Secure Work Space feature, which BlackBerry had said would come out around mid-year, will allow corporate applications, such as email, calendars, contacts, tasks and memos, to be kept separate from personal apps and content, which could be less secure.

The feature could help BlackBerry sell high-margin services to major clients, even if employees are using smartphones by its competitors
BBRY Q1 FY2014 Results

Blackberry reported q1 earnings a few days back... Yet to digest the whole earnings report fully. It looks like they failed to meet analysts' expectations and as a result the stock price took a big hit... Roughly off 35% prior to release of earnings report.

6.8m smartphones shipped... Out of which 2.7m were bb10 devices.


The smartphone market remains highly competitive, making it difficult to estimate units, revenue and levels of profitability. Throughout the remainder of fiscal 2014, the Company will invest in BlackBerry 10 smartphone launches, and the roll out of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, to continue to establish the new BlackBerry 10 platform in the marketplace. The Company will also invest resources to evolve BlackBerry Messenger into a leading cross platform mobile social messaging application, and launch other revenue initiatives associated with new services and emerging mobile computing opportunities. Based on the competitive market dynamics and these investments, the company anticipates it will generate an operating loss in the second quarter. The company will also continue to implement the cost savings and process-improving initiatives it started last year, in order to drive greater efficiency throughout the company, and redirect capital from these savings to areas of investment that will drive future revenue growth.
28% drop in a day.. US stocks are insanely volatile.

Anyway, Blackberry is in the classic highly competitive tech industry that investors like Warren Buffett would avoid. The industry as a whole may be growing at a fast pace but the competition is brutal and winners are few.

That said, the company itself has around $6 in cash, and lots of goodwill under its brand name, I guess the current valuation is starting to look attractive, purely on the basis of book value.

Tech Review:
I tried the z10. I like the build quality, but the screen quality and OS is even worse than I expected. The high PPI screen is good in theory, but the GUI of the BB10 OS does not show off the screen quality. In general, its (IMO) ugly OS, lack of software support and polish is reminiscent of the early Android. Except, does it have the deep pocket of Google to stay in the game until it wins over more fans?
Another bad news for Blackberry...

Samsung close to mobile-device deal with FBI: Sources

NEW YORK — Samsung Electronics is close to signing a deal to sell its popular line of Galaxy devices to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sources familiar with the situation said yesterday (July 19).

The deal would be a boost for Samsung, which is increasingly seeking to cater to the needs of government agencies, a niche long dominated by Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry.
It may be a good news for existing shareholders...

BlackBerry to consider putting itself up for sale

TORONTO - Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry will consider selling itself.

The Canadian company said today (Aug 12) its board has formed a special committee to explore “strategic alternatives” in hopes of boosting the adoption of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

The company said its options could include joint ventures, partnerships or other moves.
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