Wall Street Watch this Week: Betting Against BlackBerry


As the market embraces the iPhone 5 this past weekend and the latest Android smartphones, there doesn't seem to be a lot of chatter about BlackBerry.

You remember BlackBerry, of course. The early smartphones were so popular and addictive that users would refer to the devices as CrackBerrys.

Research In Motion (RIMM) is still making them. Folks are still buying them. The problem is that consumers just aren't snapping them up the way that they used to. Even though the smartphone market is booming as people upgrade from older feature phones, RIM's market share is slipping.

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We'll get a clearer snapshot on Thursday afternoon when the Canadian smartphone pioneer reports its latest quarterly results.

Don't hold out for much. Analysts see RIM posting a sharp loss on a 40% drop in revenue. The company is still holding out hope that an operating system update will win back folks that used to thumb away on their BlackBerrys, but it's easier to bet against the company than for it these days.

Other Things Worth Watching

• Nike (NKE) took a lot of heat earlier this summer when reports indicated that its new LeBron James sneakers would set some buyers back more than $300 a pair. The report was overblown. LeBron X began selling this past weekend for just $270, and that's the version with high-end electronics that track performance. The regular version will set fans back closer to $180. It's against this backdrop that the athletic footwear giant reports its latest quarterly results on Thursday. Wall Street's holding out for a profit of $1.12 a share, but that is less than the $1.36 a share it earned a year earlier.

• Carnival (CCL) also sails in with fresh quarterly results. The world's largest cruise line operator is also eyeing a dip in profitability. Yes, this is the company that owns the ill-fated Costa Concordia that ran aground with disastrous results earlier this year. Bookings slowed for the industry shortly after the accident, but now we get to see if business bounced back in time for the crucial summer season. Analysts may not see much of a bon voyage, but it will be important to hear how future bookings are faring.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of NIKE. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in NIKE.

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