While many pundits have long ago written Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY) and the BlackBerry off for dead, good news keeps on tricking in for the troubled smartphone maker. Of course, long-term shareholders would still be way down, but anyone who invested in the stock last summer is sitting on a nice return right now. With that in mind, here is a quick wrap-up of the latest good news for Research In Motion and the BlackBerry:
- Lenovo Takeover Rumors. Lenovo is assessing potential acquisition targets and strategic alliances with one option on the table being a takeover of Research In Motion. At least that is what Lenovo Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos and apparently they have spoken with BBRY and its bankers already about various combinations or strategic ventures. Such a deal would make sense at least for Lenovo as PC sales decline and a buyout of Research In Motion would give it an instant mobile business. However, a buyout deal with a Chinese company would still face considerable regulatory hurdles.
- BlackBerry 10: A Mix of Expectations. While several Wall Street analysts have revised their forecasts for the BlackBerry 10 downward and remain bearish, Jefferies analysts have been more optimistic by writing that initial BlackBerry Z10 sales have not been as bad as many feared. Moreover, recent launches in France, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait have gone well while in the UK, 20%+ of Carphone Warehouse phones were out of stock based their recent checks.
- The Qwerty Keyboard is Still Coming. The BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen phone is preceding the BlackBerry Q10 with its qwerty keyboard by at least a month and Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair has commented that while US carriers are not optimistic about Z10 sell-through, they are more hopeful about the Q10. However, Blair did add that he believes the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) smartphones are simply too entrenched in the US market for BlackBerry to make a comeback beyond an initial run of BlackBerry enthusiasts. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that BlackBerry remains popular in other developed markets like Canada along with many emerging markets.
- The Share Price is Improving. Research In Motion is up 16.9% so far this year and some of this gain is probably thanks to takeover rumors. And over he past year, the stock is actually only down about 7.9% after having clawed back upwards starting around September/October.
Again and if you have been a long term shareholder in Research In Motion, your investment is probably worth a fraction of whatever you started with. On the other hand and had you invested in Research In Motion last summer, you would have at least doubled your money or eliminated much of your long long term losses – something worth considering.
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