In news that came out after the market closed on Tuesday, Research In Motion (RIMM) turned down offers from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and "others" according to Reuters. Please see this article here for more information.
Research In Motion spiked up in price in after-hours Tuesday trading based on this news and should see a lift during Wednesday's trading. What is not very surprising about this story is that Research In Motion turned down all offers received. Reports have surfaced that the amount was in the $10 billion dollar range, but that the company prefers to fix its problems on their own.
Fix the problems on their own? I had to make sure that I actually read that correctly when the story initially broke. If there is one thing that has become clear over the last three years, it is that Research In Motion has had many problems making anything work right over that time, let alone fixing what clearly needed to be corrected. The current, dysfunctional co-CEO set-up, with Jim Balsille and Michael Lazaridis, is a complete disaster. There are not too many investors, analysts, or competitors who would really argue with that.
There has to come a point when Research In Motion's board has to decide whether keeping this current structure of leadership is truly benefiting the company. Both Lazaridis and Balsillie seem arrogant at this point. Shareholders (those left) have taken major losses just in the last year alone.
I have stated before that I believe that Research In Motion wants to take this company private. Selling the company would admit defeat for Balsillie and Lazaridis, and this is something that they would never let happen. Ego is taking priority over the best interests of shareholders. The constant downgrades, investor criticism, and backlash had to be weighing on the company. Really, why not take it private right now? This stock still looks like there is more room to fall even further. Their earnings forecast for next quarter was horrible, but that has been the standard for some time now.
If Research In Motion did take the company private, maybe the possibility of a turnaround is possible. Instead of constantly trying to soothe everyone's worries, they will be able to focus on what made this a great company at one time.
Going forward, I have serious doubts whether Balsillie or Lazaridis should be making any decisions or have any influence on potential offers for the company. Research In Motion's board and shareholders should demand that the current leadership structure be fixed and changed immediately. How much would this stock move up in price if a savvy and competent CEO was hired to replace what they currently have right now?
Back in September 2011, Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services in Toronto had this to say about Research In Motion and their current situation, "There's a wound festering in RIM, and either you need to cut off the arm or you let it get worse, and the market is telling you it's going to get worse unless they make a change,'' I could not agree more with that statement.
The problem here is that there are public shareholders and analysts calling for a major change in leadership. The people who are running this company do not want to make a change. There is a serious conflict of interest.
Until I see any change at the top at Research In Motion, I would consider any temporary move up in share price a great opportunity to purchase more put options on the cheap.
Disclosure: I am short RIMM. I own RIMM put options.