Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) were still rising at the NASDAQ on Thursday, a day ahead of the company’s next earnings report. The stock gained 2.4 percent on Wednesday and another 1 percent in pre-market trading Thursday morning. But just what will tomorrow’s results bring? Analyst expectations for the company are mixed.
Earnings Expectations For Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)
The BlackBerry maker will do business under the Research In Motion name until shareholders approve the name change at next month’s annual meeting. A consensus of analyst expectations according to FactSet indicates that the company could report earnings of 7 cents per share on $3.38 billion in revenue for its most recently completed quarter. During the same quarter a year ago, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) reported losses of 37 cents per share on $2.8 billion in revenue.
What Will Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)’s Unit Sales Look Like?
The key metric investors and analysts will be looking at in tomorrow’s numbers is unit sales. This will be the first quarter in which sales of the new BlackBerry Q10 handset will be included. The device is the first BlackBerry 10 handset to feature the physical keyboard the company’s handsets became known for.
In the company’s previous quarter, it reported shipments of about 1 million BlackBerry Z10 handsets. Those devices were the touch screen version of the handset. Most analysts are expecting Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) to report at least 3 million units of BlackBerry 10 devices in its most recently completed quarter, and as MarketWatch’s Dan Gallagher reports, this is one area where the results get foggy.
Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)’s Sell-Through Units
Some analysts have said their checks indicate that sell-throughs of the BlackBerry Q10 appear to be doing well, while others admit that it’s difficult to tell. The number of BlackBerry 10 units shipped tells us only how many devices were shipped—not how many were sold through to an end customer.
RBC Capital analyst notes that since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) appear to be having trouble selling their high-end devices, it’s to be expected that Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), which has been struggling to recover market share, is having an even more difficult time.
The Value Of A Short Squeeze On Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)
According to FactSet, the short interest in Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is quite high at 35 percent right now, compared with 14 percent at the same time last year. Pacific Crest’s James Faucette believes this means that those who are long on the stock are counting on a short squeeze to raise their investment. He says that if the BlackBerry maker reports a higher than expected number of units shipped, then short sellers will move to cover.
Faucette also said that if Research In Motion is really going to show investors a sign of a turnaround, then it must release sell-through numbers as well as shipment numbers. However, the company hasn’t done this in the past, so it’s highly unlikely that it will do it tomorrow.
So it’s anyone’s guess what tomorrow will bring for Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), but one thing’s almost for certain. We could see some big movement in the stock tomorrow after the report, one way or another.