After a brush with death, BlackBerry (BlackBerry Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSX:BB) has emerged as a great survival story, if not a “great get back to where you were story,” says Manhattan Venture Partners Chief Economist Max Wolff.
Wolff was on BNN’s “Business Day” Friday to talk about BlackBerry after the company reported its second quarter numbers. He says the results, which saw BlackBerry trim its loss to $207-million on revenue of $916-million, were important because the risk that it might run out of cash before it can reverse its recent downward course is basically off the table.
BlackBerry’s cash and investments balance at the end of Q2 was $3.1-billion, up $11-million from the first quarter.
“It was way better, fourteen cents better, than the expectation,” Wolff said of the results.
Wolff says BlackBerry’s future is likely in software and services, not devices. He thinks CEO John Chen has done a good job at refocusing the company’ efforts towards is strengths which, increasingly, are not in producing handsets. Wolff thinks those hoping the company can win back business against the iPhone might be surprised at the direction the new CEO is taking Canada’s most famous tech offering. “The future of BlackBerry is not going to look like the past,” he says. “It will not regain most of that market share, it will not be as large of a company, and it will not be doing the same things.”
Wolff says the prospect of BlackBerry being sold off is also much less of a possibility because, he says, John Chen is already doing many things that many felt could only happen if the company was broken apart.
“Look at the pieces separately, figure out where you should concentrate, concentrate on those places, try to execute very well, tamp down the expectations so they are manageable and keep the organization lean. That’s are all the things that usually happen when you are acquired or get an activist shareholder,” he said.