Research In Motion: How Much Time is Left?

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Research In Motion: How Much Time is Left?



With Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM) proving correct the dire predictions of even the most bearish of analysts regarding its quarterly results, analysts are now speculating how long the company will survive, and whether its stock price will eventually touch zero, or thereabouts.

Nomura Holdings, Inc. (TYO:8604) (NYSE:NMR) expects the company to disappear by 2020 – in a note to clients it said, “If RIM continues to be run as it is, we believe that the company will eventually fail.”

Brokerages fell over themselves to slash price targets for the stock – a few even halved it – as they feared whether its cash pile of $2.2 billion will be sufficient to ride out restructuring, cost cuts and another postponement of its make-or-break device, the Blackberry 10, to early next year.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM), recognizing the need to conserve cash, announced intentions to lay off 30 percent of its labor force, or 5,000 workers. Yet this decision, according to analysts, only goes to show how RIM is between a rock and a hard place – according to Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) Investment Research, the firm should be hiring talent in order to churn out new products faster – instead the layoffs would only serve to demotivate employees and lower morale.

As time passes, RIM has fewer and fewer cards left to play. There are already calls to dispose of its highly profitable network business or to set up a partnership with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) – in fact Steve Ballmer is reported to have made a proposal to the company to install the Windows Phone operating system in its phones, a proposal turned down by RIM.

By going it alone, RIM is taking the chance of further decimating its value, not to mention its cash reserves, in case it is unable to solve its problems.

According to Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF)’s analyst Peter Misek, the company’s value could turn zero by early next year. Emerging market sales can only counter the loss of market in the U.S. up to a point, while rivals Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung are going from strength to strength. Meanwhile the approximately $1 billion it earns from its network subscribers may also decline this year, according to the company.


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