After Research in Motions (RIMM) cut earnings guidance last night, many investors are scratching their heads. Here is what Id ask co-CEO Jim Balsillie if I met him for coffee this morning:
- Last month, when you reiterated your guidance that you cut yesterday, had you done any confirmation of the numbers beforehand? Your excuse for cutting the guidance was because you had recently completed some confirmation process that led you to cut back. Shouldnt you have done that before your earnings call?
- If you did do confirmation before earnings, doesnt that mean that orders from carriers and customers have fallen off a cliff in the last 4 weeks? If so, thats a really bad sign isnt it?
- Do you know any examples of phone companies who see demand for their products which fall off dramatically and then suddenly bounce back when you release your new versions of your phones that youll show us on Monday?
- The new phones that you say carriers are so excited about which youll present on Monday arent they based on your old operating system that people dont like and not your new QNX operating system?
- The features you touted last night for your new phones were better battery life, a better browser, and better graphics for gaming. Is someone going to buy a BlackBerry over an iPhone or Android phone because of your improved browser? Is that what has been holding them back? Also, for your games: I thought your PlayBook just ships with Tetris. Are there going to be any other games I can play on the new BlackBerries that use your improved graphics?
- Your bullish analysts used to say yes, the US business is dying but International is going to keep growing. You seemed to be saying last night that demand is drying up in Latin America too. Does that mean the US was a sign of what is to come for your future International growth?
- If you did such a poor job predicting your month out earnings 4 weeks ago, how can anyone trust your full-year guidance of $7.50 EPS? And why didnt you reduce your full-year guidance last night when you cut your quarterly earnings? Your full-year guidance was back-end loaded before. Now, its gigantically back-end loaded.
- Last September, you told analysts to stay tuned and just wait to see the new BlackBerry phones. We waited and you shipped the Torch. Last night, you said wait until Monday and stay tuned for your new phones. Why should we believe this time will be any different?
- Even though your new phones may seem like a big improvement for you over the last BlackBerries, are you sure that real paying customers (not your employees and friends around you in Waterloo, Ontario) will be impressed? After all, theyre not comparing your new phones to your old phones when making a purchase decision. Theyre comparing you to iPhone and Android. How will your new phones compare to iPhone 5?
- Can you name any company where a dual-CEO structure has worked?
[At the time of publication, Jackson was long AAPL.]
Please follow me on Twitter:
RIMMber! Why Research in Motion is Still Risky