When it comes to BlackBerry stock, there is very little middle ground. Analysts are expecting either a bright future in which the sky’s the limit or a future where BlackBerry is non-existent. The company is set to release its next earnings report on Dec. 20 before opening bell. The consensus estimates for BlackBerry’s third quarter of fiscal 2017 are losses per share of 1 cent and $325.5 million in revenue, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Valuing BlackBerry stock for software
In a report dated Dec. 6, Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha and team said they do see BlackBerry as having a future in software. They envision the company’s hardware revenue and software access revenues falling to zero in the long term as it discontinues in-house development of its own hardware. They also feel that BlackBerry stock is overvalued and that as a software company, it isn’t worth $4 billion. They have an Underperform rating and $6 per share price target on BlackBerry stock.
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Garcha and team said they are “generously” estimating $850 million in software revenues by fiscal 2019, which assumes that software sales grow in the double digits, by 13% in fiscal 2018 and 12% in fiscal 2019.
BlackBerry’s software portfolio is “average, at best”
The Credit Suisse team pointed out that the portfolio has mostly been built through acquisitions and are concerned about quality of some of BlackBerry’s recent software acquisitions. They also referred to the company’s software portfolio as “average, at best.” In particular, they question the quality of Good Technology, which bulls have painted as one of its top acquisitions in the area of software.
Garcha and team also believes that BlackBerry will still need “significant” restructuring, despite the company’s major efforts on this front over the last couple of years. The company continues to transition from being a hardware-focused firm to one focused more on software. The Credit Suisse team estimates that the company’s operating expenses will fall another 35% or about $280 million from $801 million in fiscal 2017 to reach $519 million in fiscal 2019.
Is BlackBerry full of surprises?
Demetris Afxentiou of The Motley Fool is firmly in the bull camp on BlackBerry stock, as he believes the company will surprise investors in the future. Because of his convictions on this, he highlighted several areas in which he thinks the Canadian company will surprise investors, such as the Internet of Things. He believes that more than 50 billion smart devices will be on the market within the next ten years.
BlackBerry’s offering in the IoT is BlackBerry Radar, which he defines as “an IoT-enabled tracking solution” for shipping containers, trucks or really any other asset that must be tracked anywhere in the world in real time. He also sees software updating as a key piece of the puzzle for the company’s IoT solutions.
No article about BlackBerry’s non-hardware endeavors would be complete without mentioning cyber-security, and the company did launch its own cyber-security consulting business earlier this year. According to Afxentiou, the segment keeps pulling in new business BlackBerry, although of course it doesn’t get a lot of media attention.
And then there is healthcare, a lucrative area the company has also been expanding into that also doesn’t get much press attention. The Canadian company has already signed 1,000 hospitals and most of the companies in the medical sector of the Fortune 500.
One area the writer doesn’t mention is automotive, where BlackBerry’s QNX continues to attract clients, such as Ford, which the company signed recently.
Shares of BlackBerry stock edged higher by as much as 0.82% to $7.63 during regular trading hours on Wednesday.