(Reuters) - Research In Motion said on Thursday several senior executives resigned as the BlackBerry maker posted a quarterly loss, stung by slipping smartphone shipments and limited deliveries of its poor-selling PlayBook tablet.
Here are remarks by analysts interviewed by Reuters after RIM’s quarterly financial report, which came out on Thursday after the end of regular trading in Toronto and New York.
“They’re going to scramble around now for the next three to six months and every poor shareholder that had faith in them is going to be potentially impoverished. I‘m so angry as a Canadian; every Canadian investor should be angry.”
“It’s going to be absolute gong show for the next few quarters.”
“It’s a disaster, the board should be ashamed of themselves, we told them three months ago to look at licensing the OS, opening up the system, to look at strategic alternatives, in fact, we told them before that, but they’ve been stubborn and they’ve had the ostrich treatment.”
“They’ve still got cash, but the biggest takeaways are, we think, inventory levels in the channel rose, we think handset units are going to be down significantly next quarter, we think the ASP erosion, average selling price, erosion on the services business that they’re talking about is really bad, because that’s their high-margin cash business, we think all of these executives leaving all at once is going to be a bit of chaos.”
“The numbers were disappointing. Revenue was disappointing at $4.2 billion versus the low end of management’s guidance of $4.6 billion. Units of 11.1 million were lower than our estimate of 11.7 million units. Earnings disappointed at 80 cents per share versus our estimate of 86 cents per share. We were above consensus of 81 but they disappointed both.”
“What’s happening here is that BlackBerry 7 phones are disappointing as consumers just aren’t excited about the products. There could be some hold off on spending by enterprises as they wait for BlackBerry 10 products that are due sometime later this year.”
“They are definitely losing share of the smartphone market in this transition period and will again if BlackBerry 10 doesn’t live up to expectations.”
“Cash flow improved which is a positive but that’s not indicative that the overall business is improving.”
Regarding decision to offer no guidance: “It really is actually management’s recognition that, during this period they don’t have BlackBerry 10 products, they can’t get a handle on demand. It makes sense not to give guidance they don’t have conviction for. It may mean there’s less chance of disappointment if now people are very conservative with their expectations for RIM.”
Regarding executive departures: “Balsillie is the main one people will focus on. RIM is going through not only a product transition but a cultural transition. It probably would be good for the company to have different leadership.”
“There is not an indication developed markets are improving in a meaningful way. For the stock to work again they need to go to a strategy that is software services focused.”
Regarding the new CEO: “Right now the concern is (the new CEO) is following the same strategy the prior management had. Really he needs to make a dramatic change like Nokia did.”
ERIC JACKSON, HEDGE FUND MANAGER, IRONFIRE CAPITAL, NEW YORK
“They’re in this cycle of continually lowering their estimates and then six weeks later missing those estimates. They clearly have no fix on when this process will bottom, and until it really does, it’s going to be very difficult for a lot of investors to come back in.”
”The fact that Jim Balsillie is leaving and there are other high-level departures ... it’s a pretty significant development. It suggests that there’s some deep, underlying tension between him and Lazaridis and perhaps the rest of the board ... The way that it’s happening, when it’s happening - to me it looks like there’s panic in the boardroom.
“The results are in line with expectations which were weak already. But it’s not just these results. The forward outlook continues to be bleak. Next quarter it’s going to be more of the same. There’s no sign of a turnaround.”
Regarding the resignation of Jim Balsillie, former Co-CEO and the retirement of CTO David Yach, he said: “That’s probably a positive thing. Any fresh blood for this company is a positive. ... The turnaround process for this company is just beginning.”
“Ultimately, RIM is taking half measures, baby-stepping their way to a reorganization and they’re not moving fast enough.”
“They need a wholesale change in the culture and the management of the company.”
“It’s a good start, but it’s a half measure. To be frank, they need to get rid of Mike (Lazaridis). Mike needs to go and their appointed CEO needs to go.”
Reporting by Susan Taylor and Allison Martell in Toronto and Sinead Carew in New York; Compiled by Frank McGurty