Ben Hanson

Ben Hanson
Contributor since: 2013
Sometimes you just have to stop throwing good money after bad.
I usually find enough hypercritical articles of both of those companies to make me think that every company has its detractors and goalpost movers.
Oh yeah, why bother investing in the business when you can keep trying the same thing you've been doing for a decade? You don't want to grow revenues or, gasp, profit or any of that stodgy 20th century thinking. No no no, grow the EPS by taking on debt to buy worthless pieces of paper (or bits of data, I suppose) to play mathematical games!
I seriously am starting to think that, as much as I hate regulation, some rules about how much stock a company can buy back in a year would force these companies to at least THINK about investing it back in the business.
This nonsense again?
They've been trimming fat for a year. Is there any fat left to trim?
Windows Phone would have made some sense, since their enterprise customers mostly use Windows for other devices.
Blackberry 10 was launched in 2013 with a global user base about twice as large as it is now in 2015. How many chances do they get?
Exactly. Someone's investment in an unpopular brand won't magically make it popular.
I'll say that while I haven't written any articles for a while, and none on Blackberry, AND I don't have a position on it, I like to occasionally look in on BBRY articles to see the debate. I tend to find the shorts way more convincing since, even if Blackberry isn't DEAD yet, its market share and revenue have been consistently plummeting. There's been no groundswell of support for any Blackberry products in ages and Thorsten Heinz and his colleagues made a number of baffling mistakes that really hurt the brand at the launch of BB10. I don't foresee how they could turn it around at this point, at least in hardware; even if they did what people said ages ago and adopted Android, they'd be competing in a saturated Android handset market that even the almighty Samsung is starting to lose.
I'll also say that as a rule, I find that people resort to conspiracy when the facts have abandoned them.
JC Penny has different dynamics. As long as it can get a person into its store or to its website, and they see something they like for a price they are willing to pay, they'll buy it. Bringing back their frequent sales increases foot traffic and online traffic, changing their product mix to something more enticing makes people more willing to give them money and so on. While retail is a hard business, if you sell it at a reasonable price and people are aware of it, they will come (unless you're Sears). Plus, many JC Penny stores are anchor stores at malls, so it's minimal effort for someone already at the mall to wander in and see what's interesting.
Blackberry's products are different. To REALLY make profit, they have to sell phones (I'm ignoring software and services for the moment). These phones are long term commitments that someone has to be willing to make. Blackberry's big issues are all related to how the smartphone market has progressed, and there isn't a single trend working in Blackberry's favor. Phones like the Blackberry Leap compete against cheap Android and Windows phones that both offer ties to larger ecosystems, and these phones are cheaper and don't use 4 year old chips. The Passport is an interesting beast, but if you walk into an AT&T, it's up against the iPhone and a swarm of high end Android devices. It gets lost in the shuffle, and many Android players (Samsung, HTC, etc) are having a hard go of it even with access to the Google Play store due to the sheer volume of competition. Also with the iPhone and Android app stores, you are pretty much guaranteed that any app made is available for it.
Blackberry is being competed with from all sides, often by companies like Microsoft that are willing to buy marketshare with unprofitable phones. They don't have access to many apps that users want due to a small user base that can't entice most developers. They stand out if you look at them side by side with an iPhone or a Galaxy, but many are designed to appeal to people who already own Blackberries, and they are apparently not different in ways that most customers find enticing, or else you'd be reading about surprising sellouts of the Classic.
That's a bit like saying, "There must be something to this climate change denial, there are more and more articles attacking it!"
People are finding evidence that supports the conclusion of Blackberry's decline and eventual demise if these numbers don't change.
Innovation is awesome, but if nobody finds out about it, it's not going to get anywhere.
If M$ means Microsoft, I have no clue what Blackberry has to offer them besides some security software and a practically dead smartphone brand. I mean, people say "QNIX," but with their efforts to get Windows 10 on EVERYTHING, supporting and promoting the supposedly infinitely valuable QNIX seems like a distraction from that strategy.
I've been reading that the worst is behind Blackberry since late 2012. It hasn't quite gone that way. I tend to think that the author makes a lot of good points, and his charts show that Chen has managed to slow down the rate of decline, which I think is a pretty big accomplishment in itself.
I'm not a short, for the record. I just calls em like I sees 'em.
I guess we'll see how many people actually BUY the phones.
They'd be better off buying out Electronic Arts or something similarly insane, but profitable.
Fair enough. Of course, T-Mobile doesn't necessarily advertise this potential shortfall.
Plus side for T-Mobile: increasing numbers of phones available from companies like Blu that come unlocked with 4G LTE compatible with BOTH companies.
In this article you linked, "http://bit.ly/1DVhnbk," the word Android doesn't appear in it. What might have tripped you up was the term 2 in 1. A 2 in 1 device is a tablet that can transform into a laptop and back, not a dual boot device.
Dual boot devices are outright hated by both Google and Microsoft and they do everything in their power to squash them. Microsoft would never subsidize such a device. They're making deals to put Office on some Android devices, but that's it.
The only thing I'd point out is that AT&T and T-Mobile's 4GLTE are different spectrums, so you'll have third party unlocked phones that get 4G on AT&T and more like 2G on T-Mobile (and vice versa), based on reviews I've read. A phone made for AT&T originally would presumably be optimized for AT&T.
Wait, revenue is down 11% and people are calling this a GOOD thing?
I'd ask when, realistically, AMD HASN'T been on the ropes the last few years.
While the watch could go on to be successful, I've seen too many noted flop products sell out at launch to really make anything of it. Take the Blackberry Z10 phone, where this site had lots of articles about great launches with longish lines at locations in England and Indonesia. And we all know how well that phone did in the long run.
As someone with a Microsoft Band, though, I definitely agree that the "how useful are wearables" question is overblown. Good article overall, even though I question how useful initial sellout is to determining how successful a product will be.
I could see it being used in an office or other such environment where some supply can be ordered as soon as someone notices it's running low. But yeah, you're right to point out that it's VERY price insensitive.
Have you used a netbook lately? Even last gen atom chips combined with an SSD yield a surprisingly good experience.
I've occasionally gotten mine to around the 9 hour mark, but that was with the screen turned down all the way, backlighting on the keyboard turned off, and doing very basic things (word processing, light web browsing, etc). So it's technically true, but most of the time I'm in the 4-7 hour range, depending on what I'md oing.
64 gigs for the same price Apple charges for one with 16 gigs. Well played, Microsoft.
Correction: the Surface 3 doesn't come with its pen included. That's an add on.
With as low as interest rates are now, I'd expect it to be at a lower rate.
The current batch of AMD powered game consoles (Xbox One and PS4) launched in 2013. Year 6 of the generation would be 2019, not 2017.
If Enron is having financial problems, why would they buy the rights to naming a stadium?
(note: not saying CRM is on the level of Enron. I'm just pointing out that companies in financial trouble will still do that kind of thing for PR purposes).
Since the future is unknown, it isn't unreasonable to look at the past to get some idea of how the future might turn out under certain circumstances (heck, it's why we study history). If a business shows itself consistently unprofitable with a given strategy and mix of products and services, I think we are justified in questioning what will change in the future.
Example: I set up a business where I sell dollar bills for 75 cents. I always have willing customers, but I'm always losing money. However, I keep up with things through volume of sales (I had a net loss, but I sold 15 billion dollar bills last quarter! Look at that revenue!), issuing new stock shares and taking debt and convince people that selling 75 cents on the dollar is a new and exciting business opportunity of the future, pointing to my large number of happy customers.
In that scenario, if I keep going down the same path, I will always lose at least 25 cents per sale. My only way to become profitable is to find new businesses to enter, change my prices, develop greater efficiency, find a supply of dollar bills at 50 cents apiece, etc. Thus, looking through the rear view mirror is an excellent way to see how the strategies of salesforce.com and Amazon will turn out five years down the line.
The only thing you can say about Paulo's analysis is that often the stocks have gone the opposite direction. This is not because anything he's said has been wrong, but because people have been blinded by the hype around these stocks and continued willingness of analysts to pump them. Counting on this is not investment, but speculation, as he said a moment ago.
So it's less that he doesn't understand this type of investment as he rejects it as illusory and based more on mass investor psychology than fundamentals, if he doesn't mind me putting words in his mouth.