There is perhaps no other major index that provides as much excitement as worry, as much jubilation as regret, as much growth as failure. Technology stocks and the growing Nasdaq are not for the faint of heart. Either for investors or for the boards that must stay up nights in a dire attempt to keep their institution from being left in the dust. For even when such hard work is dutifully fulfilled, failure remains an option. When it's not, the failure only becomes more noticeable.
In all fairness, new Research in Motion (RIMM) CEO Thorsten Heins came out after the company's latest dour earnings report and made it clear he had not given up, nor would he give up on the company. He made numerous changes, most applauded, that even led the company's stock to brush off the negative financial numbers and turn positive. The most notable changes included the departure of multiple executives, including director and former co-CEO Jim Balsillie.
However, the changes may be in large part too little, too late. Along with the well received tone of Heins came another disturbing development from the company that future guidance would from now on be withheld. The company previously gave guidance in regards to BlackBerry shipments, earnings per share and revenue. Although these numbers proved flimsy as far as actual accuracy in the past, to avoid guidance now completely perhaps signals a fear from management as far as giving a glimpse of how bad the next few quarters are on tap to be.
After all, according to analysts the future is by all accounts in no way guaranteed. That is even with the redesigned BlackBerry 10 smartphones slated to be released later this year.
"RIM has to orchestrate this turnaround within a shrinking window of opportunity," said CCS Insight analyst John Jackson. Wrote analyst Tim Long following the conference call, "We did come away from the call with a much better view of the CEO, although that is not necessarily a sign that he can fix RIM's problems."
That is because, simply, he can't. With each passing day Research in Motion falls further behind and is becoming dangerously close to the point of no return. Especially with stalwarts like Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) leading the charge.
At this point, Research in Motion's battle to stay in contention echoes that of Blockbuster fighting to contend with Netflix (NFLX) in the eleventh hour, back in 2008. Although Blockbuster finally dug into the online landscape Netflix was controlling unopposed, it was all for naught, as customers were not about to switch back to a company that had already failed them once before.
Fast-forward to today and the same situation faces Heins and his company as they watch others, such as Apple, profit off customers, a fair share of which redirected from the outages and shadow that has crept over RIM for years.
Maybe Heins can pull off a miracle and lead Research in Motion to a last-minute charge. However, it's safe to say tardiness never wins in the business world.