Waterloo, Canada — BlackBerry smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) shares fell 21 percent on Friday, hitting their lowest numbers in nearly five years and causing many investors to walk out on the company.
The once $80 billion company was worth less than $15 billion Friday evening — investors blaming the plunge on the lack of demand for Blackberry devices. As Apple and Google Android devices gain popularity, RIM models continue to fall short — the company’s share of the North American smartphone has sunk to 17 percent from its 50 percent market share in 2009.
“I do believe that the game as far as [RIM is concerned] is up,” commented Stephen Jarislowsky, chief executive of Canadian money manager Jarislowksy Fraser Ltd. “A soufflé doesn’t rise twice.”
Although shares have fallen, some are optimistic and hopeful that RIM’s new products will “turn around its fortunes,” The Wall Street Journal wrote.
“BlackBerry has a strong international brand and a loyal customer base,” Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis told investors in a conference call Thursday.
http://tinyurl.com/3p9m32u (Wall Street)