Dear RIM: Wall Street Doesn't Date Losers
Research in Motion (RIMM) beat estimates, popped, then snapped back to reality . And, Oh, there goes gravity .
Different rules apply to dogs like RIMM and best of breeds such as Amazon.com (AMZN) . It's fascinating to watch.
On Thursday, RIM reports a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, the stock resumes trading in after-hours and rises considerably. It was funny -- as the report was released -- I was attending to my "Director of Social Media" duties for TheStreet and just assumed RIMM was down. Sure they "beat," I thought, but who in their right mind would get long an all-but-dead company with no new product coming until the end of January?
Reactionary investors -- that's who! My friend and TheStreet (soon-to-be Real Money Pro ) contributor Robert Weinstein immediately shorted RIMM in after hours and made out big. Because that's what Robert does -- he makes money by expertly reading (and fading) the emotional responses of fellow, unsuspecting market participants.
Robert got out of his short position before RIM's earnings call even started. However, if he wasn't such a disciplined trader, he would have let it ride and really made a killing. As is usual when RIM management speaks -- the stock tanks. It dumped by double digits to settle in the upper $12s.
Why? Why does this happen to RIM?
First, on the positive side, you have to give RIM CEO Thorsten Heins credit. He's not fronting the same smoke and mirrors as dog-and-pony trainers Balsillie and Lazaridis used to. Heins levels with investors, saying listen, We're excited about the BB 10 launch, we expect it to go well, but, no joke bro, we're going to have to spend money to eventually make money so we're going to lose $$ in the quarter .
Everything else is decidedly negative, particularly sentiment. And there's no reason for it not to be.
You have a delayed product. It might not be very good, though it probably is. Through this entire bearish mess, I have never had much of a problem with the BlackBerry, in and of itself. RIM makes solid devices; it just missed everywhere else and got blindsided by Apple (AAPL) . Join the club.
The idea that RIM can just stroll into the office several years late with BlackBerry 10 and pick up where it left off is absurd. You have a better chance getting an NHL season in and a new franchise in Waterloo than of having a successful enough launch to salvage things.
When RIMM stopped being an obvious short, it became nothing more than -- using Doug Kass's words -- "a trading sardine."