This morning I had a chance to sit down with a hot cup (ok, several cups) of coffee and read the recently-published and very bullish report on BlackBerry by Citron Research. I have a feeling most of you haven’t ever heard of Citron before, but neither had I. That said, I’ve become a big fan of them.
Who is Citron? If you read most of the stories that reference their BlackBerry report from Friday and today, you’d think they were a huge firm. Instead, they’re just private investors who publish really interesting and well-researched reports. They write reports that I wish Wall Street had the nuts to write. The main man behind the brand is Andrew Left. I’m not sure if it’s a one man shop or if he hires research help, but it’s clear from the website that Left is in charge of publishing stuff and he is a private investor not a Wall Street research firm. All of his reports are freely available.
As you might have guessed from the name, “Citron” (French for lemon) tends to focus on what it feels are broken, fraudulent or overvalued businesses. In other words, they write about stocks that they think are lemons. Occasionally they write about stocks that are no longer lemons as was the case with their BlackBerry report last Friday.
It’s worth reading the 12-page report that Mr. Left published. He makes a very strong case for the strength of BlackBerry’s balance sheet and the transformation of the business towards enterprise software and services. Importantly, he spends ample time discussing John Chen and the new management team members that have come in under Chen’s leadership. He points out that BlackBerry’s mobile device management solution is earning much better feedback (in the Google Play store) versus the competition, and he spends ample time ripping other analysts to shreds.
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