As I'm sure almost everyone reading this article is already aware, BlackBerry (BBRY) reported its first quarter this Friday. Analysts expected the company to earn $0.07 per share on $3.4 billion in revenues. However, a $0.13 loss with lower than expected revenue of $3.1 billion. The company reported its smartphone shipments overall in the first quarter were up 13% to 6.8 million from the previous quarter. Unfortunately, the company did not give us updated numbers regarding its BB10 Unit sales. Before we start the brief article, I would like to make it clear, I am not an expert when it comes to this company by any means. What I would like to show is the waning popularity of the company on the internet.
As of late, I've started incorporating search engine interest into my analysis. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the historical search interest for a few company specific keywords on Google (GOOG). Let's start with the keyword "BlackBerry:"
The above graph shows the worldwide search interest, since 2004, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of search interest. Peak search interest was reached in October of 2011, soon after the launch of the company's Torch smartphone, and just before the widely reported service issues later that year. Let's now take a look at the search interest for the keywords "BlackBerry Messenger:"
The above graph shows the worldwide search interest, since 2004, of the search interest for the company's renowned BBM service. The peak search interest was seen during August of 2010. Let's take a look at the search interest for BlackBerry's Q10 device using the keywords "BlackBerry Q10:"
While the data set is extremely limited, the search interest for the Q10 hit all-time highs last month. This month it is expected search interest will decline slightly, by 2 points, to 98.
Lastly, let's put these declines in the context of the entire smartphone industry.
While "BlackBerry" interest declines, the keyword "smartphones" has never experienced greater search interest. Using the partial data available for this month, we see that June will represent an all-time high level of interest for the industry.
I would be careful when initiating a short position as short interest has risen greatly, thus increasing the possibility of a short squeeze.
The above graph was sourced from Nasdaq.
Over the last few months, short interest has risen drastically, to 37% of the float leaving over 9 days to cover. Moreover, the company has a sizable cash position, $3.1 billion, which may limit the acceleration to the downside going forward.
Take what you want from the above graphs, I find it interesting we haven't seen greater search interest in "BlackBerry" considering the all-time high interest seen in "BlackBerry Q10." Recently, I've taken criticism on this website and others, for arguing BlackBerry is losing its relevance in the younger generations, and thus will have difficulty gaining market share in the decades ahead. Up to this point, I couldn't concretely support this belief, but using search trend data, we can see that relevance is actually declining. The contrast seen between the popularity of "smartphones" and "BlackBerry" more accurately shows the weakness of the brand. Shares have traded down over 27% intra-day and sit at $10.60, a far cry from the $20 price targets on the Street. I feel it's likely we see estimate revisions as analysts price in the rising uncertainty.