Blackberry has been on the decline for quite some time now. The mobile communications company hasn’t been the same since the colossal flop of the Z10, the supposed iPhone destroyer. Since the switch from the bread and butter keyboard brick handsets to touch-screen devices, the company has been facing an uphill battle in the return to relevance in the mobile communications sector. Blackberry abandoned what it did best and entered a very saturated touch-screen phone market, competing with the likes of Apple, Motorola, HTC, etc. To put this decline in perspective, Blackberry was trading at around $67 in early 2011. Now, in September of 2015, shares are hovering around $7. That is a whopping 89% decrease.
However, the Toronto based firm has been making attempts to produce cash flow, compete in the deep waters of the software industry, and prove to be a worthy investment to current and potential shareholders. One positive seen last quarter was the revenue numbers for software and licensing, which increased 150% YoY. In addition, earlier in the month, Blackberry announced that it would be acquiring Sunnyvale, CA based enterprise software competitor, Good Technology, for $425 million. This deal isn’t exceptional, but it is beneficial, as Good Technology will bring in roughly $150-$160 million in revenue. Yet, within the enterprise software space, Good Technology and Blackberry will have to fend off up and comers Microsoft after heightened pushes into the space.
Long-term, Blackberry’s success waits to be seen, as their strategy still is not crystal clear. Will we see more acquisitions? Could the idea of adding several new companies help generate and produce novel and homegrown ideas?
Short-term, investors will be looking to see if maintaining the hardware business is even worthwhile. With plummeting mobile device sales, CEO John Chen made comments about possibly reducing or even eliminating the phone business. But, a new Blackberry mobile device running on Google’s Android, will hit the market in November. This may be Blackberry’s final hurrah if the device fails, prompting Chen’s comments to come to life.
Blackberry simply has not been performing to investors’ likings, adding to anxiety over tomorrow’s announcement. Weak operating cash flows and poor stock performance over the past 5 years just may be the downfall of the once prominent mobile device monster.