RIMM’s stock price is well below book value — a book value that is dominated by cash and patents that have a real and marketable value — implying that the company could profitably be sold for spare parts.
That thesis may soon be put to the test.
RIMM recently hired law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP to “work out a restructuring” that could include selling assets or licensing some of the company’s products and services—such as the popular BlackBerry Messenger—to other smart phone manufacturers.
It’s too early to speculate on what the outcome will be, but hopes of some kind of deal have helped to keep the share price relatively stable amidst the recent volatility.
The Street is not particularly optimistic about the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and I can understand why. The last operating system upgrade failed to live up to expectations, and given RIMM’s recent track record of product delays you could forgive analysts for expecting the worst.
Still, I would contend that RIMM has tremendous potential as a service provider. If Mobile
Fusion is remotely successful, RIMM will be able to profit from the growing “bring your own device” trend that is gaining traction, particularly among smaller companies. With Mobile Fusion, the company’s IT department can manage an iPhone or Android device on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server network.
For now, we can do little else but wait and see. At current prices, I consider RIMM to be a risk worth taking. But as I said before, if RIMM takes a fresh dive to new lows, I’ll recommend we sell.
Otherwise, I’d like to give this one room to run.