Think BlackBerrys are obsolete? Well, many of the biggest names in media and technology think otherwise.
At the annual Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference, which brings together media titans from all over the world, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in an interview with CNBC’s Kayle Tausche:
"The Blackberry for me is a utility. And if you look around Sun Valley, you look around probably your studios, you see people who have to do a tremendous amount of work utilities on BlackBerrys.… The future hopefully will be driven by utility. I don't know what their plans are, but I'd be happy if they did well."
However, BlackBerry is in the process of reinventing itself, focusing more on enterprise and platform software rather than the smartphones it once dominated. The market has even expressed some confidence in BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s efforts to turn the company around. Since Chen took the helm in November, the stock is up 47 percent.
Nonetheless, BlackBerry still has a long way to go from when it was the biggest name in smartphones. In mid-2008, its market value was $78.4 billion. Today, it’s worth just $6 billion.
But, BlackBerry’s stock may be worth a second look, according to Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson. “I took BlackBerry off my screen,” he admitted. “It’s not really a stock I’ve been watching and for good reason. But, when I looked at the chart this morning, I thought to myself, ‘this is a stock you have to keep an eye on.’”
Looking at a short-term chart of BlackBerry’s stock, Ross sees a bullish head-and-shoulders bottom pattern that has formed over the past year, with a neckline at around $11 per share. The stock broke above that price on Wednesday. Should it stay above there convincingly, that could be good news for shareholders, according to Ross.
“Break above that key neckline resistance and there could be some real upside here for this stock,” said Ross, a “Talking Numbers” contributor.
This comes simultaneously to BlackBerry’s stock hitting another key resistance level: its 150-week moving average. It has “been below this 150-week moving average now for over five years,” Ross said. “If you can get back above that 150-week moving average, which comes in around $11.70, there could be some upside to that previous resistance at the 2013 highs up at around $18 - $19.”
For Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz TJM, the catalyst for BlackBerry to break higher will be growth in its enterprise and QNX divisions. QNX is the operating system installed in an estimated 11.6 million vehicles as of last year.
“The things they are doing in the automotive field in terms of infotainment in cars, they are really the leader in that market right now,” Cortes said. “The things they are doing in healthcare are incredibly exciting.”
Plus, Cortes believes BlackBerry has limited downside, making him a fan of the stock. “It owns a ton of patents that are worth practically the market capital of the company,” he said. “I think that puts a bit of a floor underneath the stock price here.”
To see the full discussion on BlackBerry, with Ross on the technicals and Cortes on the fundamentals, see the above video.