Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) is showing that it is not as dead as the market was expecting. A CEO interview on CNBC this morning was also one far more promising and far more confident than what Wall St. and Main Street have been anticipating. While many reports are out on the news itself, there is something to consider here. Even if RIM improves, the sentiment and writing style from analysts, reporters and market pundits is likely to remain full of caution, regardless of what comes out of the company for the coming months.
After the company posted a far “less-bad” quarter, we also have seen many analysts chime in. Goldman Sachs raised its numbers ahead of the earnings report after the company signaled that it did not have a decline in subscribers as so many were expecting. That growth is due to a large dependence in emerging markets, but that is better than nothing.
Several other analysts have chimed in on RIM shares and the outlook:
- Maintained Hold at Canaccord Genuity
- Maintained Neutral at Credit Suisse
- Raised to Outperform at National Bank
- Raised to Sector Perform at Scotia
- Maintained Neutral at Stern Agee
RIM shares were initially up about 13% or 14%, but shares are now up 10.6% at $7.80 against a 52-week range of $6.22 to 24.74. After 40 minutes of trading, the share volume is already 200% normal, now that 45 million shares have traded hands.
While RIM has a huge challenge and while RIM’s future is banked entirely on the successful launch (and only confirmed for Q1-2013) of its BlackBerry 10 operating system, there is one thing that is going to be difficult for reporters, pundits and analysts to do. It has been so easy to be negative on RIM for almost two years now, and that is going to make it very difficult for analysts and reporters to suddenly be positive after a long-term bearish stance.
We would warn readers and investors that they need to be very careful trusting the opinions and the outlook that is written about RIM. To show just how much that is the case, that blanket statement even applies here. It has been so easy to call the end of the world for RIM for so long that it is going to be very difficult to not be negative on the outlook. Positive comments are still going to be skeptical or come with caveats. That is just how things work.
RIM is no longer just a case where being a perma-bear works and keeps on working. Now RIM is a battleground stock, where the turnaround buyers will be fighting much more fiercely with the short sellers. It has taken about 18 months to get to this point, but that time is now here.
In some cases, RIM is currently in the same spot as the Cleveland Indians baseball team in the first “Major League” movie. The trend was bad for so long that no one could ever believe they would win any games. Even as the team started winning, about the best the fans could get to until the very end of the season was “These guys aren’t so sh!**# after all.”
If you do not believe this sentiment, look at the direct competition. Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) had been written off for years, yet it recently hit all-time highs. Imagine when a market pundit comes out saying anything negative about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), they are instantly put on the spot and criticized.
Changing sentiment after this long is just no easy task.
JON C. OGG