Oct. 2, 2013, 12:28 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -5%) is now 16% below Fairfax's $9/share offer price, and very close to its 52-week low of $7.46.
- In addition to forecasting $400M in restructuring charges related to its giant layoffs, BlackBerry disclosed in its FQ2 6-K it plans to sell property, plant, and equipment assets valued at $122M. Wells Fargo recently argued asset sales were a good idea, given cash burn and lower headcount.
- Also, BlackBerry forecast its service revenue will drop another 12% Q/Q in FQ3. Raymond James points out that implies a 36% Y/Y drop, worse than the firm's estimates.
- BB10 phones accounted for only 1.7M of the 5.9M BlackBerrys sold to end-users in FQ2.
Sep. 30, 2013, 9:26 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY) has been upgrade to Market Perform by Bernstein. Shares nonetheless -1.4%, following equity futures lower.
- Accenture (ACN) has been upgraded to Hold by SocGen. Shares sold off on Friday in response to the company's soft FQ1/FY14 guidance.
- Xilinx (XLNX) has been upgraded to Outperform by Pac Crest. Shares -0.6%.
- Telecom Italia (TI) has been upgraded to Neutral by JPMorgan following reports CEO Franco Bernabe is set to resign, a move that could clear the way for Latin American asset sales. Shares +3.1%.
- RealPage (RP) has been cut to Underperform by Credit Suisse. Shares -3.5%.
- Chinese online gaming firm NetEase (NTES) and Giant Interactive (GA) have been started at Buy by BNP Paribas.
- Marketo (MKTO) has been started at Outperform by Wells Fargo.
- CyrusOne (CONE) has been started at Overweight by Evercore.
Sep. 27, 2013, 7:05 AM
Sep. 26, 2013, 4:03 PM
- Jabil (JBL -10%) ended up adding to the AH losses it saw yesterday in response to the below-consensus FQ1 guidance provided with its FQ4 beat. Contract manufacturing peers Sanmina (SANM -2.3%), Flextronics (FLEX -1.3%), Multi-Fineline (MFLX -1.9%), and TTM Technologies (TTMI -1.6%) fell moderately.
- Contributing to Jabil's losses: the company disclosed on its FQ4 CC it's "faced with a strong possibility of disengaging with BlackBerry (BBRY -0.8%)" on account of the company's struggles.
- BlackBerry accounted for 12% of Jabil's FY13 revenue. Thanks to an estimated $0.28-$0.34/share hit from an expected BlackBerry wind-down, Jabil has set an FY14 EPS guidance range of $2.36-$2.60, soundly below a $2.85 consensus.
- Apple accounted for 19% of Jabil's FY13 revenue, and could make up over 20% of FY14 sales thanks to the expected BlackBerry drop.
- Previous: BlackBerry's FQ2 warning, Jabil falls in response
Sep. 25, 2013, 4:44 PM
- With investor/analyst skepticism about deal financing easy to find, BlackBerry (BBRY -6.3%) closed today below where it traded before the Fairfax deal was announced on Monday.
- The Toronto Star reports BlackBerry's talks with two Canadian pension funds - the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Alberta Investment Management - have stalled because the funds are only interested in certain assets, such as BlackBerry's network operations centers (IBM was once reportedly interested in them).
- The Globe & Mail reported earlier today the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan was the only pension fund to show serious interest in BlackBerry after being courted by Prem Watsa.
Sep. 25, 2013, 9:37 AM
- With Prem Watsa's Fairfax Financial not putting additional cash into its BlackBerry (BBRY -2.2%) acquisition offer and having failed to provide details about its buyout consortium, skepticism is growing the deal will get the financing it needs.
- Wedge Partners' Brian Blair: "Watsa is trying to salvage his 10 percent investment in the company and create a backstop while other potential investors hopefully bid it up."
- Fund manager Marc Gross suggests financing could arrive if it's secured by BlackBerry's patents. Raymond James estimates the company's patents, software licenses, and network could be worth $2.8B.
- Watsa, for his part, is making the case his deal would avoid the regulatory review that would come if BlackBerry was to be acquired by a foreign firm.
- Shares are now 7% below Fairfax's offer price, and not far removed from where they traded before the deal announcement.
Sep. 23, 2013, 2:06 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY +2.6%) is trading slightly below the $9/share buyout price agreed to with a Fairfax-led consortium. For now at least, investors aren't betting on a higher bid arriving.
- BlackBerry says the consortium is seeking financing from BofA/Merrill and BMO to help pay for its bid, and that the deal is still subject to due diligence, among other conditions.
Sep. 23, 2013, 1:34 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY) has signed a letter of intent to be acquired by a consortium led by Prem Watsa's Fairfax Financial for $9/share in cash, or $4.7B. Fairfax already owns 10% of BlackBerry. (PR)
- Diligence is expected to be completed, and a formal transaction agreement signed, by Nov. 4. Until then, BlackBerry can evaluate alternative proposals.
- The deal has a termination fee of $0.30/share to $0.50/share.
- BlackBerry remains halted. Shares last traded at $8.24.
- Update: Shares will resume trading at 2PM ET.
Sep. 23, 2013, 7:23 AM
- Big bull Peter Misek throws in the towel, removing his Buy rating and cutting the price target to $8 from $15. While there is "substantial value" for BlackBerry's MDM business, the handset operation has negative value (vs. his prior estimate of $0).
- RBC cuts to Sell.
- Its price target hit and then some, Credit Suisse removes its sell rating on the stock, upping to Hold.
- Nomura: "This might just be the worst miss that we have seen in 17 years of covering tech stocks."
- Previous: Mike Lazaridis may have interest in a bid for the company.
- BBRY -6.4% premarket.
Sep. 20, 2013, 3:38 PM
Sep. 20, 2013, 3:23 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY) expects to report FQ2 (Aug. quarter) revenue of $1.6B, far below a $3.06B consensus. The company also expects to report a GAAP op. loss of $950M-$995M, thanks largely to an inventory charge of $930M-$960M.
- FQ2 smartphone shipments are pegged at 3.7M (mostly BB7 devices, due to BB10 channel inventories), down sharply from FQ1's 6.8M. FQ2 device sell-through is estimated to be 5.9M.
- The company is cutting 4.5K jobs, or approximately 40% of its workforce. It's looking to lower opex by 50% by the end of FY15 (ends Feb. '15). The WSJ recently reported major job cuts were pending.
- BlackBerry's smartphone portfolio will go from 6 devices to 4 (two high-end, two entry-level). The company will focus on the enterprise and "prosumer" markets going forward.
- Strategic alternatives are still being evaluated. Full FQ2 results arrive on Sep. 27.
- Shares remain halted.
Sep. 10, 2013, 10:16 AM
- Sources tell the WSJ BlackBerry (BBRY -5.1%) "laid off several dozen members of its U.S. sales force Monday." A company spokesman confirmed to the paper "a small number of employees were laid off."
- A source talking to Cantech Letter, which initially broke the layoff story, was more dramatic, claiming BlackBerry laid off over half its salesforce. "I had twenty guys (from BlackBerry) on BBM from sales, and they have all posted alternate emails on their status."
- BlackBerry, which is contending with disappointing BB10 hardware sales, fired its U.S. sales chief earlier this summer, and has reportedly been looking to trim headcount in certain areas.
- Earlier: Fairfax struggling to line up BlackBerry buyers
Sep. 10, 2013, 8:21 AM
- Fairfax Financial (FRFHF.PK) is having a tough sell as it courts Canada's pension funds to join it in a buyout of BlackBerry (BBRY), reports The Globe and Mail. "Sources say none of the big funds have jumped on board with the idea, amid growing skepticism about the company’s ability to turn around falling sales."
- Farifax itself is debating whether to buy the entire company or unload its 9.9% stake, and would prefer finding another tech industry player to buy BlackBerry, say sources, but "the company’s loss of market share to bigger and more nimble competitors such as Apple has dampened potential acquisition interest."
- BBRY -3.1% premarket.
Sep. 9, 2013, 7:56 AM
- BlackBerry's (BBRY) shares are +4.2% following a report in the U.K.'s Sunday Times that former director Prem Watsa has lined up billions of dollars in backing from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to take the troubled handset maker private.
- Other Canadian pension funds are seen supporting Watsa's bid as well.
- Watsa, whose Fairfax Financial is Blackberry's largest shareholder with a 10% stake, resigned from the company's board in August after it said it was considering selling itself.
Sep. 4, 2013, 4:10 PM
- Sources tell the WSJ BlackBerry (BBRY +5.9%) is " aiming to run a fast auction process that could be wrapped up by November." The report led shares to spike just before the close.
- Meanwhile, sources tell Bloomberg Microsoft (MSFT -2.2%) is "keeping an eye" on BlackBerry in the wake of the Nokia deal. Given Microsoft's commitment to Windows Phone, any interest in BlackBerry from the software giant could be related to the company's BES/network operations center assets rather than its hardware ops.
- The reports come as analysts continue to cut estimates. BlueFin Research says its checks indicate there have been major BB10 production cuts, and that BlackBerry has "amassed significant component and finished goods internal inventories, while many carriers and retailers are not restocking."
Sep. 3, 2013, 10:30 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY +2.1%) is rallying on hopes the Microsoft/Nokia blockbuster will increase its chances of being acquired as it continues evaluating "strategic alternatives," and reportedly seeks out a "Google-like" white knight.
- Deal optimism is overshadowing a bearish note from Raymond James: the firm has cut estimates through 2015, and (backing up a recent WSJ column) says checks indicate sell-through has been weak.
- Meanwhile, several smaller networking/telecom equipment makers have joined Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson (previous) in outperforming, as investors speculate Nokia will use some of its Microsoft cash to strengthen NSN via M&A. Infinera (INFN +5.6%), Ciena (CIEN +3.5%), DragonWave (DRWI +4.8%), and Ruckus (RKUS +2.6%) are among the winners.
- Craig-Hallum thinks Nokia is now likely to buy Ruckus, a leading player in carrier Wi-Fi and an existing NSN partner.
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