October 4 - Leonardo Siligato
A quick start guide to company reports that will show you the key indicators to zero in on; where to find them; and most importantly, how to interpret them.
Company: This Canadian company is actually on a second lease on life – it was previously known as Research in Motion. Founded in 1984, BlackBerry would spark a revolution with its iconic phones 15 years later. Its handsets, featuring a tiny physical keyboard, were so addictive some dubbed them CrackBerries. Despite being a pioneer, it soon lost out to Apple and the army of firms that make Android devices. Its clunky handsets no longer paid the bills so BlackBerry had to shift its focus from hardware to software. While you may still see handsets with the BlackBerry badge, the company no longer produces phones itself. Instead, it licenses its brand to other companies.
The Boss: John Chen, a Hong Kong-born British-American who’s no stranger to turnarounds. He previously led software vendor Sybase that was, in his own words, “a very, very dead company.” But he reinvented Sybase into a runaway success and the company was eventually taken over by enterprise software giant SAP.
Chen is the man who led BlackBerry to gutsily pull the trigger and finally quit the smartphone business. He wants to turn the company into a leading enterprise software group, and he has plenty of personal incentives to do so… It’s been reported that his pay package is tied to the long-term performance of the stock.
Main Moneymakers: Software and services now make up about 60% of BlackBerry’s overall sales. It’s gone on a big buying spree the last few years, snapping up small companies like Good Technologies, WatchDox, Secusmart and Movirtu.
Competition: Many companies are fighting for the same piece of the pie. Like Mobileiron, Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems and Microsoft.
Revenue: $ 2.2 billion (2016)
Red Flags: Well, the coast isn’t clear yet. After years of burning through cash, BlackBerry still has to show it’s capable of delivering an actual profit. At the time of publication, BlackBerry is still in its transition phase, which is only now beginning to bear fruit. For now, it remains to be seen whether BlackBerry’s pivot to software will be a successful one. After all, investors want to know that BlackBerry is not just surviving, but actually alive and kicking. (And profiting!)
Fun Fact: Chen once recounted how everyone looked at him funny every time his wife whipped out her Samsung phone at parties. But a few years after confiscating her Samsung (replacing it with a BlackBerry, naturally), he announced his company was out of the smartphone game. Guess Mrs. Chen is happy to be reunited with her Galaxy!
Trade BlackBerry with BUX now!
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