Despite a weak performance today, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares passed $11 this week as the stock continued its rally. Shares of the Canadian company’s stock are up 50% this year to date, believe it or not—even beating Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s 20% increase and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s 5% increase so far this year.
Meanwhile Citron Research increased its price target for the struggling Canadian company from $15 to $20 a share.
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BlackBerry benefits from short squeeze, price target inrease
Writing on Seeking Alpha, Alcaraz Research said Monday’s share price increase suggested that some short sellers were still in the process of covering their shorts. He said BlackBerry’s current stock performance must be putting short sellers in a bad position. On Monday, the company’s share price hit $11.34 per share, setting a new 10-month high and putting BlackBerry stock at “pre-John Chen price levels,” according to the writer.
This week Citron Research increased its price target for BlackBerry, issuing a new report on the topic. Alcaraz believes Citron’s report could have helped lift the company’s share price on Monday as well. The firm’s report in January also boosted BlackBerry stock. At that time, the firm bumped up its price target to $15 per share.
Gazing into BlackBerry’s future
Alcaraz believes that BlackBerry will one day be a leader in the so-called “Internet of Things and Machine-2-Machine (M2M) communications.” Recently BlackBerry announced big plans for the healthcare industry through its Project Ion. In April, the company made a significant investment in NantHealth, launching a key partnership with the company. CEO John Chen sees the healthcare industry as offering big opportunities for the company, which specializes in secure mobile products for enterprise customers.
BlackBerry aims to make its QNX embedded operating system the standard for connecting medical devices and healthcare professionals. The system also tracks patient vital signs, and with BlackBerry’s reputation for security, healthcare customers are more likely to trust its services. The company also said it is testing the system for rollout soon in India, an expansion beyond North America.
About 250 hospitals are already using NantHealth’s system, which has 16,000 medical devices gathering over 3 billion patient vital signs per year. In addition to the system itself, Alcaraz sees the potential for BlackBerry being able to sell more phones and tablets to healthcare professionals, as well as its BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
BlackBerry a “lost cause”?
Not everyone is so bullish on BlackBerry’s future, however. App developer MicroStrategy said they won’t be developing apps for BlackBerry. The company believes that BlackBerry is nothing but a “lost cause” that will never come back, reports U.K. website Computing. MicroStrategy is the developer of the Usher biometric identity app.
MicroStrategy Chairman and CEO Michael Saylor made the comments during the keynote speech at the company’s World 2014 conference. He believes enterprise customers are basically only choosing between iOS and Android, which he says is a plus for vendors of mobile solution product, calling it “incredibly helpful to everybody’s mobile aspirations.”
When asked specifically about BlackBerry and Windows Phone, he said he would “really like” BlackBerry to come back and become successful again, but he doesn’t think it will happen. He said Google and Apple have already won the battle. Of course he noted that anything can happen in the next three or four years, but he specifically thinks BlackBerry is down. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Phone, however, he isn’t completely writing off yet.