Help Wanted: Research in Motion Bulls, Apply Within
Research in Motion (RIMM) bulls continue to trot out the same tired vitriol. Every time RIMM takes another leg down, I expect the tortured few to come to their senses. For whatever reason, they never do.
If RIMM bulls still exist, I have to think they'll have difficulty signing new recruits. TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia nicely summarized the company's Tuesday afternoon "business update."
In a nutshell, RIM reiterated it will no longer provide quantitative financial guidance. It revealed it has hired JPMorgan(JPM) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY) for a strategic and operational review. The company also alerted investors to an anticipated Q1 operating loss. As Ciaccia reported, analysts had expected a profit of 49 cents a share.
I tend to think that the most vocal RIM supporters have not owned shares for very long, if ever. Unless you're independently wealthy, it would have been incredibly difficult to maintain a long position of any meaningful size in the stock over the last year or two, even when hedged with options. For some half-demented reason, RIMM super bulls made it their mission to defend the company regardless of this reality.
For the last year or so, there has been just one reason to open up a fresh long position in this stock. Buyout rumors have fueled practically every bit of upside since last spring. By now, you would think M&A speculators would have given up. When this dog was in the 20s, it was destined for the teens. Now that it has broken through the teens, it's on a clear path to the single digits. Next up: the Mounties will accompany RIM's casket to the plot it hopefully reserved next to fellow Canadian corporate failure, Nortel Networks .
While I reserve the right to be wrong, I highly doubt anybody (in their right mind) is about to step in and save RIM. Any board of directors that approves a buyout of the company would be sent to Bellevue for emergency evaluation.
Put yourself in the shoes of any potential acquirer you can think of. Why in the world would you buy RIM? Why would you do that to your staff and shareholders?
With M&A hopes effectively dashed, RIMM bulls have historically hung their hats on the forthcoming BB10 operating system. While we wait around for that presumably underwhelming release, we're told that RIMM looks good "at these levels" because (insert useless MBA quantitative jargon here).
Here's one of my favorites from a commenter to last week's "Bury RIM" article:
But at this point, not far from liquidation value, the lower RIM goes the better the proposition it becomes. If they start burning cash -- then all bets are off. But unless that happens, you have a nice margin of safety at these levels .