First, TheStreet's Jim Cramer nailed it, and warned investors not to buy it until under $12. Timothy Collins also shared Cramer's sentiments in his piece titled "Leave BlackBerry on the Vine" in Real Money. FYI, subscriptions are pretty cheap compared to stock losses, especially when you can try it for free.
Secondly, where was the earnings warning? Surely the Ontario company had a strong idea a couple of weeks ago in the context of analysts upgrading handset volumes and revenue. Why didn't BlackBerry give a warning? I know the company doesn't provide guidance, but that's not quite the same as issuing a warning for a previous quarter.
I think highly of BlackBerry's CEO Thorsten Heins for putting his career on the line and having the stomach for taking the helm, but today's sucker punch to investors didn't fit in with my perception of his leadership skills.On Monday, I wrote Forget BlackBerry's Earnings, the Next Phone's What Matters and identified what shareholders need to focus on, the next "wow factor" phone. Even with great earnings today, which didn't happen obviously, if BlackBerry can't build the momentum to leapfrog Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Android (GOOG) phones, only diehard BlackBerry fans will buy them. One or two more quarters like this last one and there won't be enough diehard fans in North America to fill Whiskey's Grill and Bar on a Friday night. It won't be easy knowing how busy the bar will be after the company announced it won't disclose subscriber numbers anymore. Announcements that include "no future guidance" and "no subscriber numbers" are a clear shot across your portfolio bow that transparency is a thing of the past and you're moving away from investing and traveling toward gambling by holding a position. If you're thinking of hanging on for the ride, or buying a ticket, keep in mind that the price of four BlackBerry shares could have bought you a third-class ticket on the Titanic; with enough left over for a few drink tickets (or maybe a life jacket?). It's hard to say which one will sink you first because at least some Titanic passengers survived.