The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: June 1
3. Grim at RIM
Just a few weeks ago Research in Motion(RIMM) was adding captains of industry to try and turn around the ship. Now the Blackberry maker looks like it's hiring investment banks to sell it before it sinks.
Boy, what a difference a month makes at telecom's version of the Titanic.
Shares of RIM sank 8% Wednesday after the company unexpectedly forecast an operating loss for its fiscal first quarter and announced the hiring of JPMorgan(JPM) and Royal Bank of Canada(RY) to review its "business and financial performance."
Beyond saying the company would report a loss and that the next few quarters would be "challenging," CEO Thorsten Heins did not provide specific earnings guidance. Prior to Heins' bomb-dropping, Wall Street was expecting RIM to report first-quarter earnings of 49 cents per share on $3.65 billion in revenue on June 28.
As for the I-banks, Heins said in a statement they were hired to "evaluate the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives."
Wow. What a load of resume-filling fluff! We don't even know what any of that corporate jibberjabber means!
We do know, however, what those big-hitting bankers will recommend to Heins once they complete all those meaningless tasks and that is to unload the company while it still has a smidgen of value left.
Nonetheless, it may take the bankers a while to convince a stubborn Heins that a sale is his best option. Apparently RIM's CEO is still holding out hope that his two big hires from last month -- Frank Boulben as chief marketing officer and Kristian Tear as chief operating officer -- will help the company turn the corner, or at the very least keep it afloat and independent.
In our admittedly Dumb view though, the Canadian powers-that-be certainly do not wish to see the Waterloo, Ontario-based company meet its own Waterloo anytime soon, especially after the demise of national treasure Nortel three years ago. And at some point, they are likely to pressure an unwilling Heins to assess all his options if it means saving jobs, including a sale to a more seaworthy buyer.
2. Pep Boys Goes Pop