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A Private BlackBerry Won't Matter

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of beleaguered tech giant BlackBerry (BBRY - Get Report) are up nearly 7% Friday following a Reuters report the company's CEO and board of directors are "increasingly coming around to the idea that taking BlackBerry private would give them breathing room to fix its problems out of the public eye."

This move, if true, would not be much of a surprise. For more than a year, we've chronicled every step that BlackBerry has taken that would have led to this decision; each step forward, followed by two steps back. It was a tired dance.

Going private, or "underground," is the logical next step to the company's recent changes to its disclosure policies.

In the recent quarter, management threw hints that BlackBerry was no longer interested in the public's scrutiny. It was bad enough that the company could not meet the competitive standards laid out by Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), but it was also clear management became frustrated with its own performance standards, which were being lowered each quarter. Following the big "swing and a miss" with its flagship BlackBerry 10 phones, management insisted that going forward it would no longer provide unit shipments numbers or subscription results for its service.

It was clear at that point that BlackBerry, as we knew it, was about to embark on a change. I was curious as to what the company was trying to hide. The company felt that somehow burying bad news would somehow make things better.

I have some serious issues with the idea that BlackBerry management believes that an uneducated body of investors serves the company's long-term interest. In that regard, it boggles the mind seeing how investors are once again jumping on board this stock this morning.

Last month, at the company's annual shareholder meeting, CEO Thorsten Heins asked investors for more time. Heins then pointed out that the company is in the "second phase" of a three-stage plan to restore BlackBerry to health. He said the first phase involved cutting costs and streamlining operations. The second phase is what the company is now in, which includes rolling out BlackBerry 10 and pushing out new devices.
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