Market sentiment starting to get more positive for BlackBerry maker

BB10 Believe
By Chris Umiastowski on 13 Nov 2012 02:47 pm EST

For most of the last couple of years, media attention on Research In Motion has been horrendously negative. Even good news would be inspected under an electron microscope, and if there was the slightest possible reason to be negative, the headlines would come out in full force that RIM was, in fact, dead. The common cold was mistaken for terminal cancer.

Over the last few months things have been changing. Most of the media isn't picking on RIM nearly as hard as they used to. And there has been a pickup in the number of positive articles, such as this excellent story about growth in Nigeria by Iain Marlow of the Globe and Mail.

There are probably a few good reasons why this has happened. Most important is BlackBerry 10. RIM has been constantly demonstrating its latest public pre-release versions of the OS and there is no question it actually looks good, and differentiated. People can't help noticing that RIM doesn't look quite as weak as they thought months ago, so the negative articles slow down. Nobody wants to pick on a company when the chance of being wrong has gone up.

Then there's the competition. As much as I admire Apple (and it's a pretty big chunk of my investments), they've had a few problems lately, including maps, iOS6 bugs, and executive departures. So the negative attention has turned, for the time being to Apple. For the record, I believe the Apple nit picking is about as overdone as the RIM beatings were.

Microsoft hasn't faired too well either. Surface sales are off to a "modest" start, which wreaks of a Playbook-like launch. If Microsoft is the latest company to launch something that isn't doing terribly well, the media will spin plenty of stories about it.

So at least over the last couple of months, RIM smells like roses relative to the competition. This isn't an statement of absolutes, so don't misunderstand me. I'm simply pointing out that RIM hasn't had any bad stuff happen lately, while the other guys have.

And then, yesterday, we got the official news that BlackBerry 10 will be launched via a global launch event on January 30th. This news was huge to the market. The stock rallied immediately upon market open. Remember that market professionals tend to focus very much on short term events. That's just the way the industry is designed. So naturally, you see analysts writing about a pending "short squeeze" on the stock. This just means that people who "shorted" the stock will feel the pressure to cover their short.

For those not sure what this means, shorting a stock means you borrow shares, sell them today, and hope to buy them back (to return them) later, at a lower price. You profit when a stock falls.

Anyway, I had to laugh when I saw the headlines that one analyst with a sell recommendation on the stock actually upgraded yesterday. Honestly, has anything really changed? No. Anyone paying attention knows darn well that BlackBerry 10 is looking good for its Q1 release. RIM already told us that they're in carrier labs (which usually means 60-90 days to release). So how does getting an actual date for the launch event change anything?

It doesn't. But it changes the sentiment, and the sentiment on a stock controls its short term trading direction. I find this stuff incredibly hard to predict, which is why I avoid short term trading in stocks.

I'm thrilled to see another sign that BlackBerry 10 is coming. I can't wait to upgrade. And I'm glad (as a shareholder) that the stock is moving in the right direction again.

All that said, the facts are still the same. RIM needs to show us that they can make money again on hardware, and they need to avoid losing control of their $1 billion in quarterly service revenue. If they can manage to make that happen, we're looking at a very good news story.

Here's to Thorsten Heins executing on the turnaround of the decade. We're rooting for you, RIM.

Reader comments

Market sentiment starting to get more positive for BlackBerry maker


The RIMPIRE strike back, with full force. Android will be dominate and remain the top OS in the market due to them taking the Microsoft route, but blackberry is a big threat to the iphone, with nothing new happening in years, I will be switching from ios back to blackberry on a bb10 device. I don't like android but they way there oems release phones they'll hold a large market share for a long time. Microsoft has always had problems in the mobile industry, and I don't expect that to change. I like that blackberry will make money off there hardware and software unlike android oems, witch can help them regain apple like profit margins on there devices.

Blackberry by choice. Bb10 the future of mobile computing.

Bb has 80 million+ users they can work to convert to bb10, and if there 30% successful in 2013 will have moved 25+ million users 2 blackberry 10, not including new users.

The media are a bunch of pricks and vultures who love sensationalize misery to sell newspapers. RIM is the perfect target for them. Gonna LMAO at the media when RIM turns into the next big thing in 2013.

+1 on RIM being iphones major coming competition. Apple just introduced an ipad 4 only 6 months after the ipad 3, and left all the ipad 3 people holding the bag with outdated crap. Now there are introducing an iphone 5s in the first quarter of 2013. Yet both these upgrades have only marginal imporvements.

Apple has shown us time and time again all they are in it for is to make marginal upgrades quickly, so they can take iSheeps money.

Since Jobs died Apple has run out of ideas real fast and just a matter of time before they Join Jobs. I hate Apple and hope they burn.

I wanna see your link but cant. Crackberry needs to get their crap together and let you post actual links. And also if the address is to long like yours is then you cant even see the site. Love you Crackberry but take your heads out of your a** and fix this.

Excellent post chris. The positives can only get better. Especially when blackberry 10 is also going to be hitting the playbook soon. :)

I spoke to Vivek last week and BB10 won't be on the PlayBook any time soon. It will simply be some time "next year".

Considering next year is less than two months away I'm gonna go with soon. It's RIM soon so about 4 months ;)

Interestingly, the stock is down 5% today on the TSX. This is more than it went up yesterday after the launch date was set.

So that pretty much follows what Chris was saying, there wasn't any real news yesterday to justify the rise. We all knew that BB10 would be released Q1, all that happened yesterday, apart from making a sh!t load of BB fans very happy, was that an official presentation date was given.


We may also be seeing some profit-taking. Remember that this stock bottomed-out at about $6.20 a couple of months ago. Many investors may just be cashing out.

Yeah, I get that yesterday's rise was "fake", that's why the interesting thing to me was that it came down even lower than it started yesterday. Agreed that profit-taking is a likely cause.

Well im in germany right now. I was seen on my playbook in the lobby. I was asked if it was the new ipad. I told them no its actually a blackberry. Then the guy proceeded to tell me he thought blackberry was bankrupt. I told him bb10 was coming and what it is and he said he may not get an iphone 5 just yet now

If BB10 phones does well, you actually might see an up tick in Playbook sales. The reason I say that is you will have more interest in the QNX BlackBerry OS that should tie the devices together with bridging.

I'm not surprised!

Yesterday night I was showing some people the playbook and how to use it.

They never knew it existed, and trying to use it without any buttons, well that didn't go well for them at first.

The point is, RIM should give the marketing a lot of attention, because as you mentioned, a lot of people think the company went bankrupt!

They need to market the new OS, features, and there hardware. If they market it well I don't see bb10 doing bad at all, I hope people line up and buy this phone on its launch date, to show apple fans blackberry has a loyal following as well. And show android users true brand loyalty.

Agreed almost every person that asks about my PlayBook is thrown back when I say BlackBerry. People in the U. S are clueless to the fact that RIM isn't bankrupt,they produced a tablet, and BlackBerry10 is coming.

No one knows this...really, no one.

You also get idiots in retail stores like Best Buy and The Source saying that the PB is "a piece of s^%t" and asking me why I got a BlackBerry last summer since "they're going out of business" and telling me that a carrier isn't carrying the 4G/LTE PB because of licensing restrictions when that is not true. I've stopped shopping at those stores that badmouth BB. There is no reason for that despite their personal phone likes and dislikes. I expect retailers to show me what's available, find out what I need and sell me the phone that suits my needs (unless I've made a decision already). I take my business to fair retailers, not fanboys or haters.

And today seems to be a "buy the rumour, sell the news" scenario, with the stock trading down:

-0.47 (-5.33%)
Real-time: 3:17PM EST

It's time for Research in Motion to change the company name to BlackBerry. It could erase more negative sentiment in 2013.

RIM isn't out of the woods yet, but at least they can't be accused of vaporware anymore. :)

I'm looking forward to BB10 on my Playbook!

In a perfect world, the playbook would also receive a major OS bump next year shortly after the release of the BB10 devices. But it's very understandable that RIM doesn't want to spread resources too thin on different but related initiatives. Do this one thing right and do it well.

We all agree that all hands on deck with BB10...the risk of failure or half ass job is not an option.

Once BB10 takes succesful flight, then shift resources to bringing the playbook up to speed next year. IMO of course.

There are already signs and leaks of them working on BB10 for PB. It shouldn't be too much different. IMO, it would be good PR for them to get it out sooner for two reasons. Good will to their early adopters and evangelists and it creates a substantial base of BB10 devices that is good for marketing numbers and attracting devs, etc.

Hooray for RIM. I am a devout RIM/Blackberry supporter. However unfortunately I had to switch to iPhone a few months ago simply because my BB 9900 OS 7 was not sufficient. HOWEVER I always had every intention to come back to Blackberry once BB10 is released. Needless to say I'm beyond excited. I actually went and bought a Playbook 64GB from Office Depo today. I got a heck of a deal too, $149. It felt like a stole it. The Office Depot sales rep. told me that the Playbook was marked down because RIM is going bankrupt! Then in the next breath tried to sale me a two year replacement warranty. So if RIM is going bankrupt how will Office Depot replace my Playbook should something happen to it in two years or so?!?! Good job Office Depot. My point is that I'm sick of all of the misinformation out there about RIM. They have $2 Billion in the bank with no debt so they're not going bankrupt anytime soon. I too am looking forward to BB10 on the Playbook and then new BB10 phones. But will have a great time learning this device until then. Can't wait to get rid of my iPhone and go back to RIM.

A winner definitely...
Dude, and since office depot is clueless about rim's comeback, why don't u do what the stockbrokers do. Buy a whole lot more of the 64GB playbook at rock bottom price and sell it out when BB10 hit the market. Awareness from BB10 experience will definitely make some people interested to purchase a new playbook.

Great to see more articles from the business perspective. @cumiastowski, how much of an impact does mud slinging articles from so-called investment journalist truly have on the decline of a stock? I'm sure there is an impact, but is it quantifiable? Do groundless stupid articles from the NYT really have an impact on the stock market or should we really be worried about the impact of the negative mind share that is generated after dumb articles are published online?


I hear's exciting to watch the turn around over the past four months...from dire and imminent death to palpable excitement. My wife and I were shopping for a treadmill yesterday and the sales girl started chatting about the launch announcement of BB10...she was legitimately excited to get back to BB and away from her current device.

Exciting times for sure.

The real key here, when incorporating all that has happened recently, is that RIM's new executive team is building credibility with the market. They admitted their shortcomings and have executed on their commitments.

And the reaction to that New York Times article a couple of weeks ago demonstrated that RIM has a very loyal customer base looking forward to BB10.

Jim Courtney
Editor and Publisher
Voice On The Web

I think they need to reduce the costs more. I would suggest the research and development.

- Rezaur Rahman

while that can be a good thing for a while (like when they cut off employees few months ago), i believe there is a time to cut off expenses and there is a time to spend like there's no tomorrow. well, maybe not exactly like that lol. but instead of cutting more to save money, i think it will be better if they preparing to spend a little more on promotion & marketing before BB10 hit the stores.

with a targeted and well planned & execution promotion&marketing, we can- we should expect the market will accept any device they released.

if rallying die hard fanboys (and girls) in front of the stores can build up the hype and people's awareness, i say bring it on.
if supplying a device to public figures can bring more people buy it, appoint some brand/device ambassadors.
if loyalty discount can make those who have previous OS to buy the new ones, give them loyalty discounts.
if endorsing/sponsoring things/events can get people's attentions, endorse/sponsor the right things/events.
if you can show/explain about blackberry to those who don't know, show your blackberry to everyone you know.
if anyone here have ideas on how they can do promotions & marketings, give it to them so they can give something back to you.

you know they now listen to us. let's make sure they can give more to us by helping them getting more people to know them ;)

Less people in the US are clueless now because I tell as many as I can. And I am happy to say I made two converts to TeamBlackBerry.

Proudly a member of TeamBlackberry, and in it for the long haul.

Chris, I don't know.. from what I've read lately and this is not just some of the articles written about RIM but the comments on other media sites.. it seems like the bias and the hatred (RIM is going to fail attitude) for RIM is increasing.. at least from my recent perspective.

It's like there this huge negative sentiment out there against RIM that seems to be growing as RIM gets closer to launch. I think there's a building of fear and hope that RIM doesn't make it.

Like I said this just may be the articles that I'm reading....

I don't know if anyone else has experienced this?

i have to agree with you on the building of fear and hope that RIM doesn't make it.
You can even sense it in the comments made after articles, no base to their argument they flat out just hope RIM fails.

well, logically no business wants competitions. they are stupid if they want to loose money to their competitors lol. but we want competitions so we can get better or maybe even the best that competitions can offer, in acceptable/affordable price.

some businesses use research&development to be better from their competitors. some use media to build brand/product image. some use fanboys/girls to create the hype. some use patents to get rid of competitors.

i guess it's fair in love and war and business, as long as not proven guilty by law lol. what we need to do is, to be better consumers.. or whatever the term is lol. be smarter, be more knowledgeable, be source of informations to people around us etc. in the end, it will get back to us eventually. when we can get better products in an acceptable/affordable prices that suit our needs. or so i hope ^^

Well.. Here is one of many who are less optimistic: James Faucette , an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities said : "We belive BB 10 is likely to be D.O.A." "We expect the new OS to be met with a lukewarm responce at best and ultimately likely to fail."
We'll se who is right !

@Chris... or anyone else in Berry Nation who knows

Does RIM have another earnings call before BB10 is released?. Just asking.