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Research In Motion (RIMM) – Dirt Cheap But Worth Your Bet?

April 17, 2012 | About:

This post is written not to discuss whether we think Blackberry will survive or not given what had happened. Nor is it written to debate on whether IPhones or Android Phones will take over the smartphone world.

But rather, it is to simply show you how amazingly cheap the company is traded at, given the company’s financial position and the amount of cash flows they are still churning out.

Picture this: Just 1 year ago, RIMM is valued at $38Bn in the market. Fast forward till today, at a share price of $13.32, you can buyout the company with just $7Bn!

Income Statement:

Net Income



Cost Optimization



Service Disruption



Inventory Provision



Goodwill Impairment


Adj. Net Income






For their fiscal year ended March 3, 2012, RIMM reported a net income of $1164 mils and EPS of $2.22, which was a drop of almost 65% from their previous year of EPS $6.34. However, digging deeper into the numbers, there is substantial amount of one-time expenses incurred through the year and includes the items shown above. (We shall not go deeper into each items, you can read further in the annual report.)

After adjusting for all the one-time expenses, we arrive at a net income of $1,962 mils, which translate to an EPS of $3.74 and P/E of just 3.56. Although still a substantial drop from previous year peak earnings, the adjusted EPS shows how low they are being valued at in the market. At current price level, you are getting a company with 28% in earnings yield.


Furthermore, taking the average from 2005 to 2010, the historical P/E the company use to trade at is 21.65. This is way above today’s multiples of just 3.56, and if they ever trades back up to their historical level, that’s a return of almost 500%!


If you take a look at their cash-flow statements, RIMM is still churning out good money and their latest year operating cash flow is almost $2.9Bn. Amortization of their PPE is $0.637Bn, and intangibles of $0.459Bn, which adds to a total of about $1.1Bn in maintenance Capex that is required to sustain the business going forward. This will give us a FCFs of almost $1.8Bn a year if revenue remains at current level, giving you a company with FCFs yield of 26%!

Balance Sheet:

On their books, RIMM has Cash & Cash Equivalents of $1.5Bn, Short-term Investments of $0.25Bn, and Long-term Investments of $0.34Bn, giving a total of about $2.1Bn in liquid assets. This translates to a per share of $4.03, which is 30% of the current share price of $13.32. With no debts on their books, essentially, the market is valuing the company at only $5Bn.


The above table shows the historical P/B for the past decade. Taking the average from 2001 – 2006 and 2008 – 2010, we have an average P/B of 3.98. With current equity of $10Bn, RIMM has a book value per share of $19.27. This translates to a price to book value of only 0.69.

If we breakdown the equity, RIMM has $0.3Bn in goodwill, and $3.3Bn in intangibles. To be on the conservative side, we take away the goodwill and intangibles, leaving us with a tangible equity of about $6.5Bn, which translates to $12.42 per share and a price to tangible book of 1.07.


If you are still not convinced on how dirt cheap RIMM is being valued at in the market, let us summarize.

At a price of $13.32, you are buying a company that is trading at 0.69 price to book, 1.07 price to tangible book, with a FCFs yield of 26%. Even with today’s dismal results, they are earning a return on tangible equity of 18% and adjusted return on tangible equity of 30% if the one-time charges are added back.

Factoring in their liquid assets of almost $2.1Bn, they are only valued at $5Bn in the market. With a FCFs of $1.8Bn per year, the company can take themselves private in 2.8 years time. (Please tell us how crazy is that.)

Bonus - Potential Catalyst

An added bonus to owning shares of RIMM, we have our dear Prem Watsa, the Canadian Warren Buffet, doing his best for the shareholders. He owns a huge stake in RIMM and in recent months, had bought even more shares of the company. He was elected to the board and could be the driver behind many of the moves made by the company recently. A new CEO was installed and they are exploring strategic opportunities that include partnerships, joint ventures, licensing, etc.

(P.S. To Prem Watsa, why don't you consider buying out RIMM?)


About the author:

We are a 2 partners team managing a concentrated portfolio, with the intention to hold our investments for as long as the fundamentals stay intact. We do not chase, nor wish to participate in the short-term race for returns, choosing instead for the best opportunities to invest in. The time we do so is the time we invest big, taking outsized stakes in what we call the “misguided & misunderstood” investments. Contrary to many, we subscribe to the notion of low risk, high return.

Visit Valueground's Website

Rating: 2.9/5 (22 votes)


Praveen Chawla
Praveen Chawla premium member - 5 years ago
Agree - RIMM is dirt cheap. I did pick up a few as it traded down below 13 last week. I am sure this is not the bottom but its hard to deny the value being presented by a spooked Mr. Market. One of the founders (the technical genius) is still there and a new humbled management finally has a fire lit under them. Its impossible for the company to go under - companies with no debt cannot go bankrupt.
Valueground - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
Absolutely, the founders of RIMM still owns a majority stake in the company. One of the founders was actually for the idea of licensing out their platform to other players, however, was badly received by the others. We will not be surprise if the company announce certain strategic moves in the near future. Anyway, they still have their Blackberry 10 to bank on and they are still holding up their market share in other emerging countries like India.
Forexnutca - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
I was pretty happy to hear Thorston on that last call admit to the mistakes. This is typical Prem Watsa at work. Give all the bad news and write downs......now let's fix the problems.
Valueground - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
So let's take a seat back, and enjoy the show while Prem Watsa works his magic on the company.
Rajeev M
Rajeev M - 5 years ago    Report SPAM
I agree with this totally. Though RIM maybe going through bad times, the current market prices over-discounts the position of the company. RIM is struggling due to competition from Apple and Android, but RIM still has a niche market which is unlikely to change substantially in the next years. Besides, there are so many BB lovers, not sure if they would give up their BB to bite the Apple.

Lets wait and see what finally comes out of RIM. The phone that is used by the President of America...

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