NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Beleaguered tech giant BlackBerry (BBRY), once the market leader in global smartphone sales, has lost that title to Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF). This is not news, and the Canada-based company has not made any meaningful attempts to reclaim its position in the mobile handset mountain it helped create.
BlackBerry has, instead, focused its attention on software and services -- the type that can run on all platforms, including Apple and Google (GOOGL). This is where new CEO John Chen believes BlackBerry's future is. The question, though, is can software alone be lucrative enough to make Blackberry stock a solid long-term investment today?
This is what investors are grappling with ahead of BlackBerry's first-quarter earnings results due out Tuesday before the opening bell. But it shouldn't be a hard decision. Although software revenue is expected to increase 50%, the software business accounts for just 10% of total revenue, compared to Blackberry's hardware business, which makes up 42% of revenue.
In other words, don't bet on a huge number for software.
Blackberry stock is -- at best -- a speculative long-term play with limited value. Beyond the hope that a larger company buys out BlackBerry, there is nothing here yet to suggest that Blackberry stock is worth betting on, regardless of how cheap the stock appears at less than two-times earnings.
Blackberry stock is down more than 16% so far in 2015, compared to 2% gains for the S&P 500 (SPX). It is down 6% over the past three years.
To be sure, the stock has done well in the past twelve months, gaining around 10%. For investors who bought Blackberry stock at its 52-week low of around $7.80, the shares are up some 16%.