NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I have been long BlackBerry (BBRY) since November. Although many hate the stock and think it's about to curl up and die, I continue to think it could have a lot more room to run in 2013. Here's why:
When someone says "X is the new Y," ignore them. Remember when everyone said that "Greece was the new Lehman?" Guess what? It wasn't. People love facile analogies to make sense of a complicated world. It gives us comfort that we feel we can predict what will happen in a world that is inherently unpredictable. But things are always different than some example in the past.
For a long time, people have written off BlackBerry because it was the "new Palm" or the "new
(NOK)." It's neither.
33% of the float is held short. This is an incredibly high number. When you see a short interest this high, it usually means that there is nearly a unanimous view that a company is doomed. I don't think BlackBerry has any chance of threatening either Apple (AAPL) or Samsung, but today's earnings confirm it's not going out of business anytime soon.
They still have a highly profitable niche user base that they serve and that's going to mean many of these shorts are going to get hurt and be forced to cover. And that's why this stock can move 10% in a day, easily.More than 50% of the users buying the new Z10 last quarter were non-BlackBerry customers previously. I was one who questioned why BlackBerry decided to give its all-touch phone (the Z10) a three to four-month lead in selling ahead of the Q10 (which is a QWERTY device). The answer I kept hearing back is that the company really felt it was important to get a meaningful number of their subscriber base on this touch platform because it feels this is the future of the company. The fact that the phone had decent sales numbers in the quarter and that it attracted so many non-BlackBerry users to their platform in the quarter is a great sign for the company's future.
Q10 will be a home run. On the earnings call today, CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed the Q10 is in the latter stages of testing with 40 carriers globally and would start selling in April (and likely May in the U.S.). Heins teased in the call that most of the existing BlackBerry subscriber base of 76 million worldwide were QWERTY lovers.
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