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The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Jan. 27

4. RIM's Seismic Silliness

Research In Motion's (RIMM) new CEO must be working off a different Richter Scale than us, because we clearly have different interpretations of what can be considered "seismic."

RIM's stock buckled more than 8% on Monday on the news that Thorsten Heins would be replacing Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie atop the company.

This latest shock comes after shares of the Blackberry maker cratered 74% in the past year, as it continues to relinquish market share and relevance to smartphone leaders Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Google (GOOG - Get Report).

Apple's stock, in contrast, has gained 27% over the same time period, while Google's has dipped just 5%.

"This is not a seismic change," said Heins said on a conference call with investors on Monday, reiterating his desire not to split up the company. "I don't think there is some drastic change needed."

Wow! The company loses three fourths of its value in 12 months and its new CEO doesn't believe a massive overhaul is required to save the remaining quarter? Man, if we owned RIM stock right now, we would certainly be running for shelter too.

Then again, maybe we should have expected such a placid reaction from the well-entrenched Heins, considering he has been with the company since 2007, previously serving as its chief operating officer.

Prior to that position, Heins served as a former Siemens AG (SI) executive, which clearly did not help his cause with those Wall Street analysts who believe RIM requires a leader with a consumer-based background to stem Apple's advances.

"People may have been a little disheartened that he was defending the current RIM strategy," said Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum. "I think (investors) might have wanted to hear a mea culpa."

Said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi to Reuters, "Picking Thorsten is a sign that they haven't quite decided that (a sale is what) they want to do, so they might give it yet another shot at looking at the business and trying to come back."

In other words, the market wanted a mover and a shaker. But RIM slipped again by choosing to stand its ground.
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