The strokers of beards and people in the know are starting to wonder if Research In Motion’s dismal quarterly results are a sign that the company will flog itself off soon.
Once the goldenchild of the mobile market, the outfit has seen many disappointments, and now some think that the only thing it has going for it is ammunition in some patent troll’s armoury.
RIM’s stock is as cheap as chips at this point, and investors have little reason to think that the outfit will turn itself around.
This is not the first time that a RIM sale has been talked about. Microsoft is usually seen as the potential buyer. That sort of talk dropped off after Vole tied itself up with Nokia. It looks just as well that the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve “there is a kind of hush” Ballmer did not throw cash RIM’s way. In fact, that is looking like one of his better decisions.
Still, the question remains. What will RIM do now? Some corners claim that RIM is going to have an HP style sell-off on its tablet, the Playbook.
Then there is the matter of how much it would cost for someone to buy RIM. Analysts seem to think that $50 billion would be an appropriate figure.
There is another problem for RIM. Twin CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie run the outfit and own ten percent of the company. The double-headed monsters are both chairman and CEO.
Investors can’t help wondering why RIM’s board, which has some of the finest minds in finance and business, can’t stop the two-headed monster from cocking it up.
Activist investor Jaguar Financial is rallying other shareholders in a bid to empower the board to look at options that include spinning off patents or selling the entire company.
Jaguar Chief Executive Vic Albioni told Reuters that either the company gets an inspirational leader, or it sells itself off. He said that the company had lost its way, and the board needed to take control.