Tomorrow (Tuesday) marks the one year anniversary of Thorsten Heins as the captain in charge of righting the BlackBerry ship. When he took the job, the stock was around $16 and on its way down. RIM's positioning was weak, and there was still a very long list of work to be done on BlackBerry 10 ahead of launch.
Today, with the US markets closed, RIM rallied nearly 11% to close at $17.41 on the Toronto Stock Exchange (equivalent to US $17.53 US). That's a nice rally ahead of an important anniversary for the BlackBerry boss.
Hugo Miller from Bloomberg wrote a good piece summarizing some of the reasons that may explain the stock's move today. Most notably, Heins was quoted in the German media as having reiterated the possibility of putting RIM's hardware business up for sale.
To be crystal clear, it doesn't sound like Thorsten is actually saying any of this will happen. It sounds more like he's just honestly answering questions about what the future holds. RIM is still conducting a strategic review of its business. They've been very consistent in explaining what might come from this. Specifically, we've all been told not to expect anything ahead of RIM launching BlackBerry 10. It wouldn't make sense for RIM to try to license the OS or sell the hardware business without first proving that they can launch the platform, and win over both carrier and customer support.
So if nothing has changed, why would he market react positively to this news? Perhaps because investors are happy to hear that RIM hasn't let the good press around BB10 go to its head. They're remaining calm, collected, and rational in their thinking. BlackBerry is fighting for a strong comeback here. It's not the time to stop and claim victory yet.
Today the US markets were closed. So we'll see if the rally sticks tomorrow. Often RIM is more volatile on days where it is traded in Canada only. And I'm not a huge fan of over analyzing short term price movements. But RIM has been on a tear lately, and another 11% move is significant, and nice to see.