This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Oct. 18

Stocks in this article: CNDO BBRY JPM SWK C

4. BlackBerry's Bad Ad

If BlackBerry (BBRY) wants to prove that it's not dead yet then why is it wasting money on ink-stained tombstones?

The beleaguered Canadian device-maker published an open letter in 30 media outlets across nine countries Tuesday in order to reassure investors and customers about its ability to remain a going concern. The cost of Blackberry's extensive campaign to merely trumpet its existence was undisclosed. However, full-page advertisements like the ones Blackberry placed this week in the The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal generally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a shot.

Oh, by the way, last week Blackberry announced it was laying off about 300 head office employees as part of a broader cost-cutting plan that will reduce its workforce by about 40%. The company plans to eliminate 4,500 jobs over the coming months.

"You've no doubt seen the headlines about BlackBerry. You're probably wondering what they mean for you as one of the tens of millions of users who count on BlackBerry every single day. We have one important message for you: You can continue to count on BlackBerry," started the ad, which also touted the company's "substantial cash on hand" and "debt free" balance sheet.

Yeah, we don't get it either.

If you ask us, CEO Thorsten Heins should have saved the money he spent on these ridiculous one-time ads for long-term severance packages for soon-to-be laid-off employees. Lord knows those workers could use the money to buy Apple (AAPL) iPhones and MacBooks to aid them in their job searches.

Then again, the letter was signed by "The Blackberry Team" as opposed to Heins, so it seems fairly obvious that even if the S.S. Blackberry sails on, its captain is jumping ship.

Said differently, imagine if John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of "The Founders Team" instead of boldly affixing his own name to the document. Would you step up and join that revolution?

We didn't think so.

Of course, we already had a pretty clear idea that Thorsten wouldn't be sticking around for the battle well prior to the ad campaign. Shares of Blackberry are down over 30% this year to around $8 and the company is currently weighing purchase offers.

Last Friday, for example, a report circulated that founder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis was considering a potential takeover bid to compete with the $4.7 billion offer made by Fairfax Financial in September. Private equity player Cerebus Capital Management and, as of Thursday, Lenovo, are also reportedly considering buying the company.

"Whoever is interested in BlackBerry understands that the company has world class products and services. These are products and services that customers can continue to count on," said Frank Boulben, the company's chief marketing officer, regarding the ads.

We trust they won't continue to count on such stupid and flat-out wasteful spending as well. What's next, buying another private jet?

Oops. Our bad. They already did that this summer.

2 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,912.95 +108.15 0.61%
S&P 500 2,075.58 +4.93 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,778.4320 +13.0520 0.27%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs