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Will BlackBerry Ripen in 2014?

Stocks in this article: BBRY

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After a disastrous 2013, where shares of BlackBerry (BBRY) lost nearly 40%, do investors stand a chance with the stock in the coming year? 

All throughout last year, I was completely bearish on the stock. Even the most recent earnings report didn't do much to change my mind. BlackBerry reported a loss of 67 cents per share for the third quarter, 24 cents worse than analysts had expected. Sales of $1.2 billion also missed estimates, with analysts looking for $1.58 billion. 

CEO John Chen -- a much better leader than former CEO Thorsten Heins -- said he doesn't expect the company to be profitable until 2016. 

2016?  That sounds terrible! Average analysts estimates expect BlackBerry stock to lose $1.82 in fiscal 2014 and $1.37 in fiscal 2015, so I'm not exactly convinced that the company will be out of the red by 2016. 

On this report, I expected shares to once again open the trading session lower. And they did, at first. But it wasn't long before the stock was trading higher by double digit percentage points, ultimately ending the session 14% higher than its opening price of $6.34.

2016 is far too long a wait for me to be optimistic about a turnaround. Think about it. It's Jan. 6, 2014. BlackBerry investors have to wait all through 2014 and 2015, before having a chance -- not a guarantee -- that this Chen fellow can turn the company profitable by fiscal 2016, which doesn't begin until March.

So no thanks. I get that the company has solid penetration in emerging markets. But that edge is slowly dulling from the flurry of cheap Android phones. And don't even get me started on the monetization of BlackBerry Messenger. If that's what you're buying the stock for, then cancel your order tickets. 

BBM, as it's called, will not be what carries BlackBerry out of the market's "shunned stocks" drawer. I honestly don't know how BlackBerry will emerge and regain profitability. There will likely be a lot of efficiency improvements and cost cutting involved though. 

Nonetheless, the whole question circles back to one question. Does BlackBerry have any life in 2014? Surprisingly, the answer isn't no. 

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