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Rough start to 2007 for Balsillie and Co.

By Kevin Hill on 19 Apr 2007 10:54 am EDT

First up was that Apple video conference showing off the wonders of the new iPhone. Then came the quarter billion dollar earnings misstatement, which has now turned into an investigation by the SEC. Then came the loss of the US Army monopoly. Next, a sharp dip in share prices following less than expected earnings figures. Finally, yesterday, a massive system failure that shut down every BlackBerry in North America for half a day.

I wouldn't want to be Jim Balsillie's cat this morning.

Research In Motion is being roundly criticized today following the massive system failure yesterday. The company’s refusal to inform users and provide carriers with any information is being seen as another black eye for the Waterloo, Ontario maker of the BlackBerry.

Certainly, people will be questioning RIMs response to the incident, which has been for the most part silent and unresponsive. The company should be congratulated on getting the problem sorted out quickly, but they might need to look at handling the PR a little better.

Surprisingly, prices for RIM stocks appear to have remained steady and appear to be holding up this morning. Investors are obviously more concerned about the company not meeting targets than there are with a backlash against the company over the outage. As of 10AM, shares were trading on the NASDAQ at $133.20 which is only down $1.17 from the previous day. However those figures are down significantly from the all time high of $148 just before the company announced its fourth quarter numbers last week, which were good but below investor expectations.

In Toronto, RIM shares were trading at C$150.21 on the TSX, about one percent down from yesterday and again down from a high of C$170 last week.

Topics: Editorial


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