BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Gets Sell Rating By Citigroup

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares lost additional 2% on Wednesday morning after Citigroup assigned “Sell” rating to the stock owing to the  limited options available to beleaguered smartphone company to trigger a turnaround.

Running out of options

Analyst has taken a bearish turn on the stock reflecting the tough time for the Canadian firm due to the lack of cash, declining market share and continuous departure of top executives.

Citi analyst Ehud Gelblum wrote in a note, “We see no clear-cut strategy, simple or otherwise, to help BBRY out of the strategic box it finds itself in.”

Gelblum assigned $4 per share as target price on the stock, which is 33% drop from the Tuesday close of $5.97.

According to the analyst, if BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) opts for shutting down the company, its cash balance, upon which the current valuation is based, would be over soon. Cost of spin off or complete shutdown would total to $1 billion, and purchase commitments total to $2.9 billion for the company. At present, the cash balance stands at $2.6 billion in addition to a $1 billion investment from Fairfax financials.

Gelblum mentioned in the report that the Canadian company has no alternative strategies to reorganize the structure and commercialize the BBM business. The analyst added that there is no clear cut approach within the company as it is not decided that what “aspects of the handset business, software or hardware, Blackberry could successfully compete in.”

Also, the report says that if BlackBerry spins off its business, its value would enhance, but the management is reluctant in following a break up approach.

Deals with potential buyers not concluded

Earlier, Fairfax Financials agreed upon buying BlackBerry for $4.7 billion, but the deal could not be concluded leaving the company in the lurch again. Chinese PC maker Lenovo exhibited some interest in acquiring BlackBerry, but had to rest its case due to stern acquisition law of the Canadian Government, who feared compromising national security.

Shares of the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) fell 2.19% to $5.84 Wednesday morning, bringing the total drop in 2013 to 50%.

The Waterloo, Ontario based company would post its third quarter results on December 20th 2013. Second quarter was awful for the company as loss widened to $965 million or $1.84 per share compared to a $129 million or 45 cents a share loss in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.