BlackBerry (BBRY) Stays Even After Early Surge

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BlackBerry  (BBRY) inched upward by 0.35% to $8.53 at the close Wednesday, just 3 cents more than its previous close of $8.50, after a flurry of morning activity.

The stock hit a high of $9.12 a share for the day shortly after the market opened at 9:30 a.m. but quickly plunged to a low of $8.36 at approximately 10 a.m.  The stock hovered around the $8.60 mark after that before it finally settled at $8.53.

Part of the focus on BlackBerry this week has been on the company's re-dedication to physical keyboards for its mobile products. BlackBerry CEO John Chen told Bloomberg earlier in the week from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that he "personally love(s) the keyboards" and that he envisions BlackBerry's future smartphones with "predominantly" physical keyboards.

Less than two years ago, the company released its first smartphone without a physical keyboard, but the move did not elevate the stock, which fell from levels of more than $12 to nearly $8.50 since that point. 

TheStreet Ratings team rates BlackBerry as a "sell" with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BLACKBERRY LTD (BBRY) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • BLACKBERRY LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, BLACKBERRY LTD swung to a loss, reporting -$1.20 versus $2.24 in the prior year.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Communications Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 49000.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $9.00 million to -$4,401.00 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Communications Equipment industry and the overall market, BLACKBERRY LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$81.00 million or 108.45% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 34.70%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 28000.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

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Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG