Just a couple of days before Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) announced results for its first Fiscal Quarter (FQ1) of 2014, sell-side analysts indicated the company could beat analyst estimates. Analysts from Morgan Stanley said that they expected the company to at least meat analyst estimates. The analysts also raised their expectations on shipments for the BB10.
Nonetheless, we all know what happened; Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) missed analyst estimates and is now trading at its lowest price this year, $10.29 per share. On July 1, the stock even traded for as low as $9.96 compared to a high of $15.09 reported on June 27.
BlackBerry is involved in a battle with the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) increasing their market share in smartphone sales. In terms of smartphone platforms, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is also struggling against Apple’s iOS, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android. According to recent statistics from IDC, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Phone has already overtaken BlackBerry in terms of market share.
Those who bought a day before BBRY FQ1, 2014 results were just speculating
I fail to understand why an investor would rush to buy a stock following an upgrade by analysts, or simply some optimistic outlook. The wise do their research, and if need be, sell as witnessed just a day before BlackBerry announced its FQ1 2014 results. Did anyone really expect BlackBerry to do any better? The only reason Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) posted profits in FQ4, 2013 was because of the new products it launched in January. There is always a good anticipation from the market when a company launches new products, but that momentum does die gradually.
Another factor that contributed to BlackBerry’s rebound in FQ4, 2013 results, is because when it launched BB10, Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had launched their latest editions of smartphones months earlier. Nokia on the other hand, had begun retailing its latest Windows Phone, the Lumia 920 in December. This meant that competition for BB10 was quite low.
Following the announcement of the results and the stock’s decline, analysts now value BlackBerry at as little as $8 per share. So what changed fundamentally? Nothing at all changed. Only that the company missed estimates and tanked. In reality, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s outlook remains weak with its only hope in the smartphone industry resting on the BlackBerry Q10.
The BlackBerry Z10 is facing a tough battle from the likes of iPhone 5, and Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4. The BlackBerry 10 OS is a powerful software, but came a little too late when iOS and Android had already established themselves as the top two in the market. It will be even difficult to dislodge Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Phone from the third position in terms of market share going forward.
The company also introduced Secure Work Space, which prevents malware moving from personal to corporate files. The fact that the service allows Android and iOS users to toggle between corporate and personal mode, which means a wider addressable market, presents the biggest opportunity here. Nonetheless, this is likely to be insignificant to overall revenue model, as hardware accounted for more than 70% of revenues in the most recent quarter.
Google’s smartphone business involves both the sales of devices and ad revenue from the open source Android platform. Android is the market leader in terms of device sales, accounting for about 70%, while the smartphone devices, which Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)sells via its fully owned subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, trails Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy S phones.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on the other hand, comes second in both metrics, with its iOS trailing Google’s Android and Samsung Galaxy S phones globally. However, the company is also very actively involved in the sale of PCs, and recently refreshed both the iOS and OS X platforms. Apple also introduced a new iMac during its most recent WWDC event.
Microsoft’s bet on smartphones is based upon the performance of Nokia Lumia phones, which use Windows Phone O.S. However, the company also entered the tablets industry last year, when it launched the Surface RT tablets to compete against Apple’s iPads and Google’s Nexus tablets. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s main business is software, and unlike Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), does not manufacture its own PCs.
The three companies have very diversified portfolios, which give them a hedge over the likes of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Nokia in the smartphones industry. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has already won the smartphone platform battle, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems settled for second, with Microsoft holding on for third.