JPM) as its financial adviser during its "exploration process." Essentially, after rumors swirled Friday that the company had expressed an interest to go private and shield itself from scrutiny, today's news, if true, is yet another example of how dysfunctional this company has become. fall from grace. It's a foregone conclusion that the company has lost the mobile device battle to Apple ( AAPL) and Google ( GOOG). While I'm willing to applaud the company for an obvious change of tone, including the fact that management is no longer insisting that it "knows best," I wouldn't get carried away here with the stock. Ideas about "exploring strategic alternatives" sound good but we've heard them before. It's been over a year since BlackBerry management used these terms. In May 2012, the company said it was looking into "strategic business model alternatives." At the time, the stock had traded at around $11 per share. Two months later shares would reach bottomed at $6.56. Interestingly, in last year's announcement, the company said it had hired JPMorgan Chase along with RBC Capital to assist the company in its search for a partner to license its software. There were no takers. Although Microsoft ( MSFT) has always been an "obligatory" mention of possible suitors, the company never showed any interest. Both Facebook ( FB) and Sony ( SNE) were rumored to have shown some interest. But the trail went cold. This time, who will step up and make a bid? If I were to place a bet, it would be on Lenovo ( LNVGY) and possibly Huawei. Both have (in the past) expressed interest in not only BlackBerry, but also Nokia ( NOK).
The other issue that needs to be worked out, however, is how much is BlackBerry worth? Even with the stock's recent rise on these new rumors, it's inconceivable that anyone in their right mind would be willing to offer more than $14 per share for this company. I will agree that BlackBerry's books look good. And the fact that the company has no debt is also attractive. But with eroding market share and poor cash flow, it's tough to get excited, even with the company $3 billion cash. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.