BlackBerry's stock surges as investors buy into Chen's turnaround strategy

It might be difficult for some to believe, but BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:BBRY) stock is out of the doldrums and is up more than 50 percent this year as investors have started to believe in CEO John Chen's turnaround strategy.

As TechCrunch notes, BlackBerry's stock is outperforming all its peers, and is currently trading at around $11.26 per share, up from $7.44 at the start of the year.

It is easier for a struggling company to see its share price rebound, and the firm is worth far less than its peers. Nevertheless, Apple's  (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock is up just 20 percent on the year and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) stock is up just 5 percent.  

However, Google's Android and Apple's iOS remain the two dominant mobile platforms. BlackBerry's overall market share is miniscule these days. The company had 0.5 percent of the global smartphone market in the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.

Despite that, analysts have been high on BlackBerry lately. As Barron's notes, in late June Evercore Partners's Mark McKechnie raised his rating on the shares to Equal Weight from Underweight, and raised his price target on the stock to $10 from $6. In a research note, he said he sees "meaningful progress in John Chen's turnaround plan," including "stabilizing cash burn (opex & HS outsourcing) and a good plan to hold onto the core subscriber base (EZ Access, BES12 in November)."

On June 19, BlackBerry posted quarterly financial results better than what some analysts had expected. Further, the company said it recognized hardware revenue on 1.6 million BlackBerry smartphones in the quarter, up from 1.3 million in the previous quarter.

Although the results remain far below what BlackBerry enjoyed in its heyday, when the company was the world's leading smartphone vendor, they are indicative of progress on the company's turnaround efforts.

When Chen took over as CEO last November, he has said he found the phone business to be in weaker shape than he imagined. Chen has committed to turning around the phone business but has also made enterprise services, BlackBerry Messenger and the Internet of Things key priorities for the company.

For more:
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this Forbes article
- see this CNET article

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