Seeking Alpha

slickvguy

slickvguy
Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View slickvguy's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • BlackBerry BBM Is Totally Worthless [View article]
    Mister,

    Always a pleasure having a civil dialogue with you.

    " said in another post somewhere that BlackBerry should have incrementally improved BB7 (with a BB8) while it perfecting BB10 and the bridge between the two. This would have been a way to help mitigate this comfort-gap."

    I agree with the concept of a "bridge". Realistically, I think the two technologies are so different that would have cost a bundle in resources and further delayed full-blown BB10. I just don't think they could have swung both a OS8 and a BB10.

    My thinking on this particular subject is that what Blackberry needed to do - and still should do - is far better documentation, user support, etc. Hand-holding. Because that's what those clients need. A 65 year old lawyer is not going to go to crackberry to search for the answer of how to do this or that. The frustration of him or her not being able to easily do things like import contacts from outlook results in a returned Q10. He doesn't have the time, inclination, and know-how to "figure it out". Heck, *I* (a total tech geek of over 30 years) am still discovering things throughout BB10 that I had no idea it could do. The docs are too basic.

    I've said it before, and I did not mean it as an insult, but I believe that BB10 is too complex for the average person who uses a smartphone. It is very much a mobile computer rather than a smartphone. At the very least, there is a steeper than usual learning curve. It takes a couple of weeks to get used to the swiping. But once you get the hang of it, and the hub, you can't think of doing without it.

    I think Blackberry should have had a program to get the phones into the hands of the kids at the kiosks and offer them a free phone if they sold x number of units. To me, that's such a no-brainer. Collectively, they have a huge influence on the market. It starts with them. If you get the kiosk kids excited and incentivized to sell BB, then you might actually get a good number of them not turning prospects over tot he competition. As it stands now, these kids do whatever they can to persuade prospects to NOT buy Blackberry. That is crazy that BB allowed that to happen. And if you can't get the kids at the kiosks, then you gear up a DELL-style direct to public sales machine.

    p.s. I'm not concerned about Friday at all. It's irrelevant to me. It's the past. The only thing I care about in that report will be cash burn. As long as it is reasonable and guidance of cash burn is reasonable, BBRY will be fine. It's going to take time. But I do believe 6,9,12 months from now, Blackberry is going to be in MUCH better shape, and short interest is going to substantially decrease. Once the shorts see this isn't going to zero and that the company will be around for years to come, and that point, you look for other plays.
    Dec 18, 2013. 01:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Take An Order! [View article]
    Bottom line, folks: The enterprise pie is big enough for Blackberry to do quite well if it can hang onto a nice slice of that pie. Unlike the consumer handset erosion that was inevitable, these clients are far "stickier" and Blackberry should be able to compete quite well against the competitors in this space. That, to me, is step 1 of the recovery plan. Step 2 is finding new area(s) to get into and/or monetizing areas that have not yet been monetized (BBM, QNX,...).

    I agree with Chen. The death of Blackberry has been greatly exaggerated. I won't buy more here because my exposure is already at my limit for one stock. You lucky guys buying int he $5's and low $6's will be well-rewarded. Shorts who haven't closed are being as stubborn and short-sighted (pardon the pun) as they were a year and half ago when BB10 was delayed and the stock also hit low $6's.

    Regardless of what the numbers are on Friday, this stock and company are coming back at least temporarily and I expect to see a print of $10+ within 6 months.
    Dec 18, 2013. 01:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry BBM Is Totally Worthless [View article]
    "If I am correct here, what has changed in this regard when we speak of the Z30? "

    We agree on the lack of ecosystem, disagree as far as the interface goes. More importantly, I think those reasons are NOT what the major problem was. I honestly think Blackberry could have put out a phone that gives you oral sex - and it still wouldn't have sold well. I exaggerate to drive my point home. I've said it before. The market did not get to vote on the Z10 or BB10 o/s because they didn't even know it was on the ballot. They do not know that BB still EXISTS. Blackberry lost this war years ago. It just took years for it become apparent to everyone and hopefully, finally, accepted by Blackberry. The only way BBRY could ever dream of regaining that lost market share is if they developed something that was a HUGE LEAP from today's existing technology (which I don't think they are even contemplating). Not. Going. To. Happen.

    But you asked "what has changed?". If what you're really asking me is if this will reverse BBRY's fortunes, the answer is an emphatic NO! Absolutely not. But you asked "what has changed", and in this regard, while there's only a minor difference, it is significant and ILLUSTRATIVE of what matters in marketing against your competition.

    What is the difference vs. the Z10? The Z30 is a much more competitive handset because it has certain features that are a) currently popular and/or demand is trending up (phablet), and b) has a unique capability that is in demand (long-lasting battery). You can put out a "me too" product if you are on the forefront of an increasing demand market, and/or you can be a "look at this great difference we have". That's it, that's all. The Z10 was neither of those. The Z30 is both of those. Again, it won't matter much since Blackberry is dead in the mind of the consumer, but it is worth noting the substantial differences.

    Unlike the Z10 and Q10, I'm seeing a lot more buzz about the Z30 from people who are NOT "blackberry users". Because, as I said above, BB finally gave an iphone5 or android user a REASON to switch to something that is different enough from what they are currently using.

    The shame is that Blackberry blew their load with the Z10. As usual, BB's timing is off. So now the carriers won't help them, and the sentiment is even more negative, at exactly the time they finally put out a terrific phone! Would it have made a HUGE difference? No. I doubt it. But it would have been far more competitive. Had they come out with 10.2.1 and the Z30 a year ago, yeah, it would have made a difference. This damn company is always too late! Grrrrr.

    Keep in mind that the majority of the remaining Blackberry customers do need and want good BB handsets. One more reason that there is no way BB is completely getting out of the handset business anytime soon. In fact, I've read more posts and reviews from people who already have a Z10 and are getting Z30s than any other group. lol. Count me as one of those too. In a year or so, I will dump my Z10 and get a Z30 or Z50 or whatever. Which is actually pretty important when you think about it, because if you can't get new customers, why not try to get the same customers to upgrade their phones every year or so. heheh.

    But what concerns me is that a good number of loyal and happy Blackberry OS7 users - who are going to stay with Blackberry - are extremely reluctant to upgrade to BB10. Part of that problem is that BB10 is so different versus OS7. Blackberry seems to attract - more than the other o/s's - people who are resistant to change. (Which I guess makes sense, since these are the leftovers who didn't switch to Apple/Samsung). My limited personal experience is that the older the OS7 user - the less they are willing to let go and learn BB10. My daughters did. My older brother (in his 50's) did. But my aunt, and my daughters' bosses, and some of my clients - who all love their Bolds - are clinging to them for as long as they will work. They do not like technology and just want their phone to work and then forget about it. The Q10 was supposed to be for those people - but it's just too different for many of them. Blackberry needs to give those people a handset that they can upgrade to. There are many millions of those and it would be worth it to keep them because they are users on corporate accounts (BES).
    Dec 16, 2013. 11:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    Redrut, just so we're clear, it wasn't me who said that about the dividend. It's really not a big issue to me, but the naked shorting is a real problem and if they pulled their NASDAQ listing it MIGHT (I repeat: might) make a difference. Not sure how competent the OSC is.

    Funny that you mention manipulation ("You can't manipulate shorts out of a position") because it is certainly the shorts who have been the manipulators. lol. I don't blame them - this is "war". I short plenty and over the years have made most of my money via shorting versus being long. But let's be honest. We know the games that are being played here. Certainly not unique to BBRY. Happens all the time. But calling an attempt to put an end to the illegal naked shorting..."manipulati... is pretty funny.

    PLEASE don't get me wrong. I am the LAST person to ever blame what has happened on the shorts! That's bush-league thinking. Blackberry owns their failure completely. Shorts cannot kill a stock that isn't weak due to lousy mismanagement, execution, fundamentals, etc. You short weak companies - and BBRY has certainly been weak! That having been said, there are certain realities to the markets, and the impact that has on the SP, and even the company itself. I have seen other companies attack shorts and defend their STOCK (not just the business itself). This is one more way that Blackberry has failed. Not only a terribly run business, but totally inept in terms of dealing with wall street and the stock.

    "They are there on an honest assessment of the business and they have been right."

    Actually, they've been right at times and wrong at other times. Depends on when they shorted and at what prices. As funny as it may seem, given the huge decline in SP over the years, I can guarantee you that there are people who have lost money shorting BBRY. It would be more accurate to say that people pointing out the problems with Blackberry, beginning years ago, have been overall correct. Yes, of course.

    I wrote posts over a year and half ago telling shorts to cover at that time, that they'd pump the stock for the BB10 release, which is exactly what happened. It was just about when one of the analysts came out with the $5 price target. Ttypical. Perfect timing to fade the analyst. Hopefully, the Citi $4 downgrade will be another such turning point. I was long then and got out way too early ($10-$11) - but it was a winner. The shorts had an opportunity to get out in the $6's back then. Most did not. The then saw the SP go from $6 to $15-$18! The large, deep-pocket shorts probably held on and perhaps increased their short position. But many shorts had to have been forced to cover - at a loss! Obviously if one shorted this at much higher levels, they've been sitting pretty the whole time. But how many did that?

    So here we go again. Maybe this time there will be no SP recovery or dead cat? Possible. But unlikely. Shorts could have covered in the $5's last week. If I was short, I would have definitely covered. They might regret not having taken that opportunity. Especially if they shorted from much higher levels, to stick around for that last $5.50 (a few percentage points based on a short at much higher levels) is dumb. I think there are a lot of retail shorts who have piled on quite recently - either at $8 or at $6 - thinking it's an easy zero. To me, that's as dumb as going long AAPL at $700. How many shorts stuck around when BBY was at $11? Or when NFLX was in the $60's? Hundreds of examples. Being a stubborn short or long is the wrong approach. Yeah, maybe this is another NT. But maybe it isn't. Again, if you are a big hedge fund who shorted at much higher levels, why bother sticking around and giving back profits? Perhaps a wait and see approach? If Chen gives them reason to close - they will.

    There's a reason it's called "SHORT". ;) Very rare to "short to zero".
    Dec 16, 2013. 10:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    wiesje: I think $8 is a pretty high probability within the next 6 months, so your "turnaround" price target seems a bit conservative to me. I'm thinking they'll bring it up closer to $10. I did not buy more at these bargain prices because I am not willing to increase my position or risk in BBRY.

    BBRY was trading at $8 in the pre-market on the Monday morning that the LOI was announced. I think had there been no LOI at all, and no special committee, the stock would be in the $7's. To knock it down another $2/share from the $8, over a billion dollars in market cap, just because the company wasn't sold...is quite silly. Geez, the stock touched $7 even on the Monday the announced that no deal was going through. It deserved to sell down to $5.50? heheheh. Those freakin' MMs, hedge funds, and algos.

    Although I am hedged w/ Jan puts, I expect the stock to go up on Friday. I sincerely hope we've seen *THE* bottom.
    Dec 16, 2013. 09:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry BBM Is Totally Worthless [View article]
    Correction. Not one of the best phones *Blackberry* has ever made. One of the best phones that ANYONE has ever made...PERIOD. Oops. Your bias is exposed.

    Now before you go ranting against me, let me be clear, I agree that it means nothing. What good is creating a wonderful phone if nobody even knows you're still alive? Carriers won't carry it. Kids at kiosks will do everything they can to persuade the clueless customers to NOT buy a Blackberry. Game. Set. Match.
    Dec 16, 2013. 02:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry BBM Is Totally Worthless [View article]
    A few questions for the thin-skinned author:

    1) What did he get his degree in from UNC? A bachelor's of commerce? My 21 year old kid has a BCom. Smart kid, but I wouldn't trust her for investment advice.

    2) According to his bio, "After graduating from UNC, Bofah worked as a financial adviser with American Express. On Jan. 12, 2004,". This means he worked as a "financial advisor" for a whopping two years before forming his own "investment company". With so little experience, how does one form their own investment or financial services company?

    3) Why do you keep deleting my posts. Usually it's people who have something to hide cannot let comments stand.

    I agree that BBM has little value, btw. But what I have a big problem with is you describing large groups of other people as "rabid". That is a slur. Something that you, of all people, should understand.
    Dec 16, 2013. 02:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    Redrut, I believe you missed his point. It's not what they would owe. Obviously such a small amount wouldn't matter. It's that the shorts would have to be on record to pay that 1 cent. lol. What pensaman was getting at was a way of getting rid of some of the naked shorting - which is rampant on Blackberry. I have no idea if that would work. Probably not.

    I have long believed they should pull their NASDAQ listing. Let the American hedge funds try that naked shorting on Bay street, and let's see if the OSC is as gutless as the SEC.
    Dec 16, 2013. 12:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    No. Not just FFH. Any of the original investors. The debentures were not offered exclusively to FFH. The agreements cover ALL of the investors.
    Dec 16, 2013. 12:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    Correct. It has to be one of the original debenture investors.

    As I have posted in another comment, my guess is its Brookfield.

    No matter who it is, they already know what the BBRY story is (they've seen the books), so I think the delay is just an excuse for one or more parties to come up with the money in 2014 (year-end distributions or dividends being received, tax consequences, etc). Take a look at the list of participants. Those are the types of companies that would be in a better cash position as of January rather than now.
    Dec 16, 2013. 12:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    "I could actually imagine myself going long again if we had brutal truth and a well articulated game plan. "

    Eeeeeeek! A sign of the Apocalypse? Be afraid. Be very afraid.
    Dec 16, 2013. 12:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    "Nevertheless the MM are preparing a raid on the company and that is extremely bullish for the stock. "

    What makes you say that, wiesje?

    I sincerely hope you are correct.
    Dec 16, 2013. 12:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry BBM Is Totally Worthless [View article]
    Apparently on Seeking Alpha you are allowed to write an article referring to Blackberry users and shareholders as "rabid", but you are not allowed to criticize the author. Deleting my comment - which contained no profanity and was quite measured - is a sign of cowardice. Under the auspices of having broken one rule or another, I'm sure. Go ahead and delete this too.
    Dec 16, 2013. 12:26 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    I think it's fair to say they are in-between those two extremes.
    They are certainly not raising money just because they can. lol.
    And they aren't in JCP territory - not yet anyway.

    If they weren't concerned about cashflow given the precarious position they find themselves in, they certainly would not be selling debs. Obviously they will - or believe they will - eat through a lot of money in this transition phase.

    We should also take into account that the deal with PW that didn't go through. (As you said Randal, nobody wanted to buy ALL of Blackberry, but we should also take into account that there certainly were interested parties in buying pieces. Small consolation perhaps, but at least some of the pieces of BBRY are still valuable to other parties. We don't know what they were willing to pay). It is not unusual when a deal such as the one contemplated does not go through, that the company announces a cash injection of some sort. In part, in a vain attempt at saving face. In part, to reassure the markets and customers. As we can see by BBRY's decline from $8 to $6 - this has worked splendidly well. heheh. Add that entire affair to the endless list of BBRY stupidity.
    Dec 15, 2013. 01:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best News I've Heard All Month On BlackBerry [View article]
    " which in and of itself is a good thing because it signals that there is at least one more big boy who thinks the stock is worth more than $10. "

    No. It does no such thing.

    Anyone thinking of buying those debentures needs to know: will Blackberry, if it fails, be able to cover the debt? What is the RISK versus the 6%/year. The conversion is just a sweetener. A lottery ticket that could pay off.

    I'll tell you what my guess is, gentlemen. I believe that the blackout is really just an excuse, and that the party or parties that want to take down some or all of the $250MM, for some reason, needs to wait until the New Year. Perhaps some money coming in at year end (dividends, distributions, etc), a cashflow thing (for the lender), or a taxation thing. My guess is it's Brookfield. It was strange how they originally were in for a much larger amount, and only took down a ridiculously small amount. There was a reason for that. Why take down ANYTHING at all in that case? They weren't obligated. 10MM? lol. Unless...you are considering taking down more via the greenshoe?

    But above all else what really concerns me is that Blackberry apparently thinks they might need that $1.25B. The cash on hand has provided a support level for the SP. Take away a billion, and the SP falls $2 or more. Until and unless Chen moves this company in a positive direction, the SP is hanging by a thread based mainly on cash (and patents, real estate vs. wind-down costs).
    Dec 15, 2013. 01:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
498 Comments
695 Likes