Stock Talk

Talking Stocks: How BlackBerry, Apple, Google and Microsoft performed the past year

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Stock Chart

While today doesn’t mark any particularly important day on the calendar as far as mobile technology goes, I thought it would be useful to pull up a one year chart of the stocks that make up the most relevant names to Mobile Nations. From largest market value to smallest, these are Apple, Google, Microsoft and BlackBerry.

Here’s the one-year chart for the bunch. This is a comparison chart so the time axis has all stocks starting together, like horses out of a gate, with a 0 percent change. I like the format because it’s so easy to see what’s happening on a relative basis.

Sorry, this Z10 gross margin analysis is totally out to lunch

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BlackBerry Z10

Last night I came across an article about BlackBerry published on Seeking Alpha. In case you aren't familiar with the site, it's one of the leading sites where anyone can submit investing articles. Many of the articles are of excellent quality. But some are written by people who don't understand accounting, financials, technology or other critical aspects of the topic they are writing about. And if you take their "analysis" at face value you'll absorb information that is totally wrong.

And in this case, the writer of this article falls in to the camp of not understanding how to look at gross margins. Since every BlackBerry investor is thinking about hardware margins on the Z10 (and soon Q10), this stuff matters.

BlackBerry stock nosediving on Home Depot news? (Updated - Jim Balsillie liquidates his shares)

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Home Depot

* Update - Umi wrote up this editorial on yesterday's Home Depot news, as the stock dipped yesterday and he was writing an editorial around it. Today's much BIGGER BBRY market news here is word that former BlackBerry Co-CEO Jim Balsillie has liquidated his stock in the company. Find out what this means for BlackBerry. Headlines aside, Umi's editorial here is still a good general educational piece. * 

When I write about BlackBerry the stock, I usually don't focus too much on short term minutia. But sometimes people get freaked out over big moves in price, and sometimes it helps to look at what's happening and put it in context.

Yesterday BBRY stock from its prior close at $15.20 to lower close of $13.99. That's an 8 percent drop in a single day. For this to happen you'd think some absolutely horrible news must have been released, right?

BlackBerry’s first day of trading as BBRY is off to a good start

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BBRY

Good morning CrackBerry Nation! It's Monday Feb 4th, and as planned, Research In Motion is now BlackBerry on the stock exchanges. The ticker symbol has changed from RIMM to BBRY on the Nasdaq, and from RIM to BB on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

And as much as I loathe short term trading, I have to say it's a nice beginning to have the stock up almost 6% in early trading today.  

A big part of the stock movement is probably due to the Bernstein upgrade. Their analyst, Pierre Ferragu, has been covering the stock for a few years and is known on Wall Street as a huge bear. I've read lots of his reports before and I didn't always agree with his logic, but in the end Wall Street only remembers your call on the stock. So to have him flipping over to an "outperform" rating is significant.

Stock Talk: What’s with the Citigroup sell recommendation on BlackBerry stock?

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Citigroup

In less than a week, BlackBerry 10 will be officially unveiled. RIM stock is at 52 week highs, and lots of analysts, investors, and even the media, are jumping on board with great things to say about the turnaround in Waterloo.

When this stuff happens, analysts have to react. They either jump on the bandwagon concluding that something good is really happening, or they stick to their guns and issue a cautious report.

Jim Suva from Citigroup is in that second camp. He reiterated his sell rating on the stock just yesterday. Eric Savitz from Forbes wrote a nice little summary of Suva's report, and I thought it would be helpful to put it all in perspective rather than just report on what happened.

BlackBerry Stock Talk: What’s expected from this week’s quarterly results?

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Santa Stock Market

For many years I looked forward to Research In Motion's late December quarterly results. They'd almost always outperform expectations so it was like an early Christmas present to sit there listening to the joy.

The last couple of years haven't been quite as fun to watch. This Thursday, December 20th, RIM will report its latest set of financial results. Will we get an early Christmas present? We shall see.

Brainstorming BlackBerry 10: Hardware back in black!

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Back in Black!

Over the last week I've spent a fair bit of time reading and digesting the thoughts in various bullish and bearish analyst reports on Research In Motion. I noticed that most analysts seemed to be estimated BlackBerry 10 hardware to sell for about $400. This figure, known in the industry as ASP (Average Selling Price) is the price device manufacturers sell to operators at.  It is NOT the retail price you pay for an unlocked phone.

RIM's current portfolio ASP is just under $229, and the average device cost is actually closer to $240-250, so they're losing money on hardware. Keep in mind this cost calculation fully absorbs all costs that RIM must account for in reporting numbers. It's not just a bill of materials as given in a teardown analysis.

Anyway, I had a hard time believing that RIM would actually sell BlackBerry 10 hardware for only $400, and I was fairly vocal about it on a few blog posts. Then we saw at least one analyst publicly estimate a $450 ASP.  

Since then, I've come across two data points to support the idea that a $400 ASP for BlackBerry 10 is totally out to lunch.

The volatility in Research In Motion shares continues

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Stock Talk 

Yesterday a research firm put out a report saying that the iPhone is back on top of the US market, while Android is a close second. Everyone else is currently irrelevant based on the numbers.

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, our beloved BlackBerry maker is down to 1.6% of the US smartphone market for the three months ending October. They had 8.5% of the market in the year ago quarter, so the drop is huge.

I think all we can really say here is "duh".

What are the bears saying now?

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BlackBeary
BlackBerry or BlackBeary?

Yesterday I mentioned the fairly bullish report from Scotia Capital, talking about upside in Research In Motion shares based on a successful BlackBerry 10 launch.

I've gone on a bit of a data-gathering rampage since last night. So between tons of reading and thinking, and plenty of coffee this morning, I have a much clearer picture of how analysts are thinking (and financially modeling) the next few quarters.

Scotia Capital outlines continued case for upside in Research In Motion shares

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Money, Money, Money, Money!

Scotia Capital analyst Gus Papageougiou published another research note today outlining the upside for investors over the next few months. I sounded off on his previous report in mid-October which outlined the potential upside in RIM if the launch of BlackBerry 10 goes well. As is always the case with reports like this, the report is an exploration of scenarios.

Papageougiou does a good job of tracking & analyzing the difference between shipment volumes on BlackBerry versus sell through rates. For those unfamiliar, Research In Motion recognizes revenue on product shipped to its distribution channels (carriers, retail stores, etc). But what really matters to the long term success of the business is sales to end customers, which is called "sell through".

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