Timing Blackberry

Blackberry is going to be an interesting business case as they are clearly not going down without a fight.

They are going to report quarterly results on December 20, 2013. I would expect these results to be very sub-optimal simply because if there was some signs of revenue stabilization it is much more likely that they would have found partners in the proposed buyout at US$9/share. Since there were multiple parties out there that were looking at the internals of Blackberry during October and would have received full visibility in two of three months of the fiscal cycle, I very much believe that revenues will be well below the $1.58 billion consensus estimate that I see on Yahoo at the moment.

In addition, with the new CEO cleaning house at the upper management level, it is going to take at least three to six months for them to realign the company and apply resources to the appropriate strategic priorities the company needs to focus on to get back to a profitable setting. However, the fact that he is cleaning house is a positive signal even though you will not be seeing the results of such actions for at least half a year.

That said, with the expectations in the stock market, I would expect rock bottom to be hit at the end of the year. Not only will they likely produce a lower-than-low expectations quarter, but you will also have the avalanche of tax loss selling and portfolio window dressing – which portfolio manager out there except for Prem Watsa would want to see this dog in their portfolio at year-end?

The sentiment regarding this upcoming quarter is quite bad. The question is how much the market has already baked in an upcoming bad quarter. Have they over-discounted?

DISCLOSURE: A friend of mine who I consider to be quite tech savvy, who already owns a Samsung smartphone with one of those giant screens, recently bought a Blackberry Q10. He suffers from a “can’t type on a touchscreen if it could save my life” syndrome. I share the same syndrome and am actually in the market looking for a usable phone with an actual physical keyboard. Other than that, no positions.