BlackBerry stock witnessed a significant spike in short interest for June. Short interest for the Canadian firm, as of June 15, totaled 90.9 million shares, which is an increase of 4.4% from the May 29 total of 87.1 million shares. Presently, 18.5% of the company’s shares are sold short.
BlackBerry buyback “incremental positive”
A few days ago, BlackBerry announced plans to buy back 12 million shares starting on June 29 and ending June 28, 2016. The buyback represents around 2.5% of the total outstanding float. Despite this being positive news for investors, the stock continued to slide following the company’s earnings report earlier last week. In a note, JPMorgan’s Rod Hall termed the move as “incremental positive news,” adding that the Canadian firm needs to “improve underlying fundamentals to spark more investor interest.”
Hall reiterated his Neutral rating on the stock earlier this month, noting that BES 12 will be the key for a “real turnaround.” During the recent earnings call, BlackBerry CEO John Chen informed investors that the firm won 2,600 enterprise customers in the quarter, and of those, 60% were from BES 12 via the company’s EZ Pass program. Also Chen told investors that revenue from software and licensing was up 150% from the same quarter last year. For the quarter, the Canadian firm posted revenue of $658 million compared to the consensus estimate of $679.64 million. The loss for the quarter came in at 5 cents per share, while operating loss was $7 million.
Consensus rating of Hold
Many analysts have released their verdicts on BlackBerry in recent weeks. In a research note on Sunday, Oppenheimer analysts reiterated their Hold on the Canadian firm. JPMorgan Chase, in a note issued on Friday, reiterated its Neutral rating on the stock. Analysts at Raymond James maintained their Market Perform rating on BlackBerry with a price target of $10.25 in a note on Thursday. BMO Capital Markets, in a research note on Thursday, reiterated its Market Perform rating on the Canadian firm with a price target of $9. Finally, in a note issued last week, MKM Partners reiterated its Hold rating. Presently, BlackBerry has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $9.83.
BlackBerry has a 52-week high of $12.63 and a 52-week low of $8.51. On Friday, BlackBerry shares closed down 0.70% at $8.57, and year to date, the stock is down by over 22%.