BlackBerry stock was up more than 2% in premarket trades on Friday following an upgrade from a Raymond James analyst who cited an upbeat outlook for the company’s software business.
Raymond James analyst Steven Li said, “Stop worrying about hardware–only positives from here on… We think the narrative shifts to BlackBerry software.”
“Only positives from here on” for BlackBerry
Li believes the Canadian firm has no liability or balance sheet risk as it neither designs nor manufactures the DTEK 50. According to Li, one likely outcome is that the “DTEK shows there is a market for a secured version of Android.” And, then “think of the potential of licensing a ‘secured version’ to Android manufacturers and have their device enterprise ready,” the analyst said.
Li also mentioned the worst-case scenario, in which the DTEK flops and BlackBerry becomes a software company only. Li believes it could still prove positive for the Canadian firm though. He notes that even now there are plenty of positives, like 74% recurring revenues in the first quarter and guidance for 80% for F2017. Li believes BlackBerry software could hit organic growth of 15% with a F2018 EBITDA margin of 27% growing to 30% in F2019.
“There are also a couple of near-term catalysts to boot: Radar (asset tracking, GA later this month) and converts buy back (saves $75mln in interest cost),” Li says.
In a note to clients, the analyst upgraded the stock to Outperform after being at Market Perform for the last three years. Li also raised his price target from $8 to $10.50 – 30% above current trading levels.
DTEK50 now available in the Netherlands
The BlackBerry DTEK50, which is still listed under preorder on the official BlackBerry online store, is available to purchase in the Netherlands. Three retailers are offering the device, with one selling it at €339, while the other two are offering a generous discount of €4, says GSM Arena.
The BlackBerry DTEK50, which the company refers to as “the world’s most secure Android smartphone,” is more of a re-badged Alcatel Idol 4, which is available in the same stores for €254 (initially costing around €300) with baked-in BlackBerry security features. The DTEK50 is powered by the Snapdragon 617 chipset and comes with a 5.2-inch FullHD IPS display. It has a 13MP/8MP camera combo, built-in storage of 16GB, and 3GB of RAM.
Over the past three months, BlackBerry stock has gained about 19%, but it is still down 15% year to date. In comparison, the S&P 500 is up 5.9% and 6.9% in the last three months and year to date respectively.