With the release of the new BlackBerry 10 looming in the distance, Research in Motion (RIM) is struggling to keep its head above water. Shares of the company are presently trading at about $9.70, which is almost the lowest price in a decade. RIM’s market cap is at $5.09 billion or about fifteen times less than it was valued at in 2007.
This news comes just as RIM's CEO,Thorsten Heins released a letter letting his shareholders know they would be reporting a loss on their first quarter earnings report. Stiff competition and poor sales have resulted in the company sustaining losses in many areas, and the impact will reach far beyond just this quarter.
RIM president and CEO, Thorsten Heins comments on the challenges which lie ahead for the company:
"RIM is going through a significant transformation as we move towards the BlackBerry 10 launch, and our financial performance will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters. The on-going competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace, and we expect our Q1 results to reflect this, and likely result in an operating loss for the quarter.”
“We are continuing to be aggressive as we compete for our customers’ business – both enterprise and consumer – around the world, and our teams are working hard to provide cost-competitive, feature-rich solutions to our global customer base. On the positive side, we expect to further increase our cash position in Q1 from the approximately $2.1 billion we had at the end of fiscal 2012.”
“Although we are facing challenges, we remain excited about BlackBerry 10 and believe that this platform coupled with the results of the strategic review will create long-term value for our stakeholders. We will provide another more detailed business update when we report our first quarter results in June.”
Hopefully BlackBerry 10 will be enough to save RIM's business, but it certainly doesn't look good as things stand right now. Industry analyst, Brian Blair of Wedge Partners commented on RIM recently and believes the Government and enterprise movement away from the BlackBerry platform to competitors like iOS and Android will prove to significant for RIM to overcome.
Brian Blair, analyst for Wedge Partners, comments on the impending decline of RIM's business:
“Our view is that the next four quarters show a steep decline in quarterly units and a gradual decline in overall subscribers, which at around 73 million, is the last of the growing, positive metrics for RIM,”
“We continue to see a mass exodus away from the BlackBerry platform in the consumer segment, in the enterprise, and in government, and there is nothing that will stave off this decline in 2012.”