Will BlackBerry stop making BlackBerrys?
Early Thursday morning, BlackBerry CEO John Chen was reported to have said in an interview with Reuters, "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business." Later on the in the day, he said that quote was taken out of context.
BlackBerry is more than just handsets, however. Under Chen, the company has been broken up into four segments: devices such as its handsets, enterprise services, messaging (the BBM platform) and QNX (BlackBerry's operating system for embedded systems).
Still, the company is facing an astounding drop in revenue. From a high of $18.5 billion in sales for the year ended in February 2012, BlackBerry's revenue collapsed to $6.8 billion for the year ended in February 2014.
While saying the company's numbers are "awful," Marc Lichtenfeld, chief income strategist at The Oxford Club, believes Chen is the best person to turn the company around, though that may be a herculean task.
"I've known him since the '90s when he was at Sybase," Lichtenfeld said Thursday on the “Talking Numbers” segment on CNBC’s “Street Signs.” "He's a very skilled executive. I'm a big fan of his. He's been talking about changing this business model from handsets to software. And, if anybody can do it, it's John Chen. That being said, it's a pretty drastic change in the business model."
“Talking Numbers” contributor Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, thinks things will only get worse for BlackBerry shares.
"There's absolutely no reason to buy this stock," Ross said Thursday on “Talking Numbers.” "In fact, it's been so long since I saw a BlackBerry handset, I thought they were already out of that side of the business."
After BlackBerry's rally in the early part of this year, it made what Ross sees as a bearish double-top pattern. It recently broke below a key support level as well as its 150-day moving average. That move, said Ross, "removes all hope."
"This stock will revisit the old lows," said Ross. "I have a $6 target on the stock. Keep in mind, the Nasdaq is a sinking ship. Do not attach yourself to the anchor here. The stock is a ‘sell.’"
To see the full discussion on BlackBerry, with Lichtenfeld on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the video above.