On Nov. 30, 2013, the company confessed that its year-over-year quarterly revenue growth had plunged more than 56%. If that wasn't gut-wrenching enough, its trailing twelve month (TTM) operating margin and profit margin had fallen 41% and almost 63% respectively.
It lost around $4.4 billion in comparison to the year-ago quarter, where it turned a $14 million profit. Put another way, in the same quarter last year it earned 3 cents per share, but in the latest quarter, it lost almost $8.40 per share. Still, the company had total cash of more than $3 billion and a book value per share of $7.78, or just about where the stock price was on Jan. 2, 2014.
More Good News for Investors
BlackBerry's interim CEO showed appropriate enthusiasm that the company's enterprise software and its surprisingly popular messaging app is catching on globally. For example, the app was the best-selling iPhone app in the rapidly growing Indonesian market, a country with around 120 million people.
BBRY's instant messaging app is called "BBM" and it's just beginning to become ubiquitous, or as Mr. Chen stated it, BBM is still in "startup mode." That's also code for "we haven't figured out how to make money with this yet."
Also keep in mind that it's BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, which is yet to make the company big bucks, is at best promising as a revenue driver.
So the list of good news items for investors betting on BBRY is not a very long. It's more about conceding defeat to Apple and Google's (GOOG) Android. Figuring out how to get back into the money-making game takes time, and I'm not convinced BBRY has a lot of time, unless it'll eventually attract another potential acquirer or a strategic partnership that will see the fading company's potential.
Any kind of publicity is usually good for a struggling company, but during the trading session on Thursday, the New York Times reported that BlackBerry is in the midst of "laying off about 40 percent of its employees," including creative director Alicia Keys, who was appointed one year ago.
According to the Times, Chen is unlikely to replace Keys with a new creative director given the company's focus on its business and government user base.
Investors could consider that the chances of being successful with BlackBerry stock may be no better than Ms. Keys' job security, and all may be better off pursuing a singing career.
At the time of publication the author had positions in AAPL and GOOG but not any of the other companies mentioned in this article.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of The Street or its editorial staff.