BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) Chief John Chen, who has completed his first year at the Canadian firm, has reshaped the company and developed an actionable roadmap. When Chen joined the firm, the company was in big trouble, and alternatives such as going private were being considered.
Chen joined BlackBerry at a difficult time
The company still has a long way to go in its turnaround, but analysts and investors are convinced that Chen has succeeded in reviving the company from its lows.
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According to Mike Walkley, managing director of Canaccord Genuity, John took the reins of the company during a very difficult time, and has done a commendable job. Walkley added that Chen has a cogent roadmap for the company, and future path is clear. However, Walkley believes that BlackBerry is still not out of woods.
John Chen was appointed as the CEO of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company on Nov. 4 last year after a revelation that the company has failed to procure a buyer for itself, and the $4.7 billion deal to go private also failed.
At that time, Fairfax Financial, the largest shareholder in BlackBerry, said that it was stalling the tentative deal, and would raise and invest $1 billion along with reshuffling the upper management of the company. At that time, an analyst noted that for BlackBerry staying public was a “worst case scenario.” A report from the Financial Post citing an executive said the company employees cheered the decision of Fairfax Financial to appoint Chen and bringing a sense of certainty after months of volatility.
Improving financials under Chen
Since the appointment of Chen, BlackBerry shares have gained 29%. However, 25 analysts still rate the stock as a Hold, while 10 consider it a Sell and only one has assigned a Buy rating.
Since John Chen took control of Blackberry, there have been some major changes and turnarounds. Chen has taken bold steps to bring the company’s financials under control, and refocused on the company’s core base of enterprise customers. Chen is still working on increasing revenue growth. In the last quarter, the Canadian smartphone maker posted a smaller than expected loss of 2 cents per share.
Back in October, Chen said that the costs and losses have been reduced drastically. “We still have a few water buckets on hand. But no one is cooking our funeral dinner on the flames, because we took action,” Chen said.