BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Strategic Alternatives Unlikely To Help: BMO

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The board of directors of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) created a special committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance its value and accelerate the deployment of the BlackBerry 10. Some of the options considered by the Canadian smartphone manufacturer are to sell the company, establish joint ventures or or explore strategic partnerships.

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Strategic Alternatives Unlikely To Help: BMO

Last week, reports surfaced that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is also considering the idea of taking the company private, but several analysts opined that private equity firms may not be interested in helping the beleaguered smartphone manufacturer.

Prem Watsa, the largest shareholder of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), resigned from his position in the board to avoid conflict of interest, but remains a supporter of the company.

Some BlackBerry analysts  gloomy on alternative efforts

Tim Long, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, believes that the value of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will not increase significantly even if it explores strategic alternatives, but he opined that a change in the company’s structure will result to a higher stock price in the near-term.

Long said, “We do not envision any changes that would help BlackBerry reverse the significant smartphone share loss or rapid decline in service revenues.”

On the other hand, the analyst noted that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has value as it has $3 billion cash, and approximately $3 billion in patents and IPR licenses. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer has 72 million subscribers, remains a leader in enterprise secure solutions, owns an operating system, and a global network.

Long maintained his Market Perform rating for shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) with an $8 price target based on fundamentals, but expects more excitement based on additional details regarding the company’s strategic alternatives.

Other BlackBerry analysts foresee potential buyers

On the other hand, some analysts in the technology industry believe that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) could attract potential buyers such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) because its patents and security services business are attractive. Analysts previously estimated the value of the services business of the Canadian smartphone manufacturer in the range of $3 billion to $4.5 billion. In addition, the company has no debt as of June 30, 2013.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) said it will not reveal further developments regarding the process unless and until the board of directors approve a specific transaction or complete the review of strategic alternatives.

The stock price of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is up by more than 5% to $10.26 a share in New York at the time of this writing on Monday, August 12.


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