NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of beleaguered tech giant BlackBerry ( BBRY) closed up more than 10% on Monday after the company's board of directors made another announcement.
Those were pretty vague terms, filled with tons on "company speak," which in my opinion, means very little in terms of execution. However, what caught the Street's attention was that the board said it will also consider a possible joint venture or even selling the company outright. I don't believe investors care very much about BlackBerry's stubbornness to "accelerate BB10 deployments." It's clear that consumers are no longer interested in the devices. Selling the company, on the other hand, is certain to make headlines. It's also been reported that the board has consulted JPMorgan Chase ( 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.
I'm not going to bore you by rehashing BlackBerry's 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 alsoNokia ( NOK).