If recent annual general meetings held by struggling mobile device-maker BlackBerry (TSX:BB) have conjured images of villagers chasing the monster in the classic 1931 Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein, tomorrow’s meeting promises an even more impassioned mob.
After losing more than one-quarter of its market value following its disappointing Q1 on June 28th, BlackBerry’s critics, who had taken a brief reprieve as rookie-CEO Thorsten Heins appeared to have been righting the ship following his surprise appointment in January of last year, were out in full force.
“The future is bleak for BlackBerry as an operating business, in our view,” said Macqurie Capital analyst Kevin Smithen following the results.
“Generally speaking, momentum wanes after the initial push and so the company is certainly running out chances.” said Edward Jones analyst Bill Kreher.
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This is the “beginning of the end” for BlackBerry, offered William Blair analyst Anil Doralda.
Tomorrow’s meeting, which will take place in a hall at the Humanities Theatre at the University of Waterloo at 10:00 a.m local time, promises to be contentious, to say the least. A BlackBerry shareholder who owns more than 1.5-million shares of the company set the tone in an interview today with Reuters.
John Goldsmith, deputy head of equities at Montrusco Bolton said “The results were a quasi death knell for BlackBerry. The share move last week was very violent. I think you are going to get people standing up and making their voices heard at the AGM.”
When those voices are heard, many will, without doubt, be calling for the sale of the company. Value investor Donald Yacktman, who joined other Ben Graham disciples in buying shares of Research in Motion back in 2011 and now owns 5.8-million shares, hinted at the possibility.
“It is the board’s job to deal with this objectively, and we hope they would be objective enough to do the best thing for the shareholders,” he said.
At press time, shares of BlackBerry on the TSX were up .5% to $10.13.