Yesterday, BlackBerry unveiled its next-gen mobile computing platform, BB10. The company’s stock dropped immediately after the event, then continued to sink throughout the trading day, and plunged even lower during after hours trading. A lot of BlackBerry’s strong January gains were erased in just a couple of hours.
The worst does not appear to be over. BlackBerry shares are down again today, around 5%. Despite cautious optimism from analysts, investors are fleeing.
But why? Sure, if BlackBerry 10 devices fall short on sales, investors may want to cut their losses in a couple months. But it’s only been one day—the device isn’t even on sale in Canada until next week and in the US until March. And while that modest delay for Americans could be one reason, there’s nothing about February that requires a worldwide smartphone to be available—no holiday spending frenzy and no major competing smartphone launches. It’s a nuisance, sure, but not a real reason to abandon the company.
So it’s difficult to tell why investors are dumping the stock in droves right now. From what we can tell, BlackBerry 10 is a superb operating system and both the Z10 and Q10 are beautiful, well-made devices that are modern without compromising the company’s legendary heritage. There’s a lot to love about both the software and the hardware.
Then again, the markets have been irrational lately—dropping Apple to a 10.3 price-to-earnings ratio over virtually nothing, for example, and sinking Facebook’s stock even as it grew revenue and reported spectacular mobile numbers.