Prem Watsa Blackberry: At this point, it is not difficult to understand why some consumers are shying away from Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BlackBerry devices. Despite its new operating system and Z10 smartphone, things are not going so well for the company as it attempts to pick up the pieces from its past and rejoin the race to the top of the smartphone industry.
Recently, Research In Motion/BlackBerry has been caught up over a report that Z10 returns are exceeding sales in some cases. As you can imagine, true or not, this is bad publicity for Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY).
With all this going on, not everybody is bailing out on Research In Motion/BlackBerry. In fact, some people, including investors and consumers, feel that a turnaround is still in the cards. This holds true for Prem Watsa, who according to our filing system, is the largest shareholder in Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), by a significant amount.
Watsa is joined by Viking Global and Andreas Halvorsen, Donald Yacktman’s Yacktman Asset Management, and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies in the stock, but it’s worth noting that Watsa’s position dwarfs this trio, combined.
As the largest investor in Research In Motion/BlackBerry at the present time, this goes a long way in showing others that now is not the time to jump ship.
An article on Business Insider goes on to discuss Watsa’s position, including his feelings on Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s new CEO:
“Watsa said Thursday at his annual meeting for Fairfax Financial Holdings that CEO Thorsten Heins has done a great job since taking over last year, and he expects the company will do well over time. He has called Lazaridis a technical genius who invented the modern smartphone and said he will be missed. Lazaridis, RIM’s second largest shareholder, started a new venture capital fund last month and is also a major philanthropist.”
Despite all the trouble the company has faced as of late, including a major dip in its share price yesterday, Watsa, among others, feels that the future is bright. He is basing this on its new operating system, combined with the Z10 and soon to be released Q10.
The Business Insider piece also added the following:
“Watsa noted RIM still has more 75 subscribers worldwide and said the BlackBerry is known for its security. He also noted that there are 6 billion cellphones in the world and that only a billion are smartphones.”
This should give hope to anybody who feels that Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is on the brink of disaster. If Watsa is sticking it out, others may feel that doing the same would be in their best interest.
For more information on Prem Watsa, visit his bio page here.
To see what Mr. Watsa had to say at last year’s Value Investing Congress, check out the video on the next page: