Shares of BlackBerry (NYSE:BB), a software company focused on enterprise and government security solutions, rose as much as 14% in early trading on Friday. As of 10:39 a.m. EDT, the stock was up 11%.
BlackBerry hasn’t released any noteworthy news that could justify today’s jump. There weren’t any analyst upgrades or price target revisions, either. That makes it likely that the double-digit jump is simply a relief rally from the stock’s recent beatdown.
BlackBerry has been hit so hard over the last few months that its share price was down by more than 50% since the start of 2020 just a few days ago. The stock is still down more than 40% year to date even if you include today’s jump.
The picture looks even worse if you zoom out a bit further. Over the past decade, BackBerry’s stock has fallen by more than 95%.
A lot of the recent selling activity is linked to the COVID-19-induced bear market. Lots of technology stocks have been hit extremely hard in the downturn.
It might be tempting to view BlackBerry as a falling knife that should be avoided all costs, but this company has undergone a transformation in recent years. Nearly all of its revenue is now generated from software and services, which are much more predictable and profitable than its legacy hardware sales.
That doesn’t mean that BlackBerry is knocking the cover off of the ball. A lot of its recent revenue growth is attributable to acquisitions, and competitors like CrowdStrike are gaining strength.
BlackBerry recently announced that it will be reporting its full-year fiscal 2019 earnings on March 31. Value investors will want to tune in to get a better sense of whether this company is a bargain at the moment or a value trap.
2 Tech Stocks for Contrarian Investors
BlackBerry and Etsy have lost considerable value in 2019, grossly underperforming broader markets.
Almost every investor has heard the adage “buy low, sell high.” The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, famously said: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” In other words, investors need to enter the market when it slumps and exit at its highs.
Contrarian investors follow a similar approach: They look at stocks that have lost considerable value, but have significant upside potential to generate wealth. Below are two such tech stocks that might be contrarian buys at their current prices.
BlackBerry stock is trading at a multiyear low
BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) exited the smartphone market in 2016. The company licensed its design and manufacturing to TCL, and pivoted to security software and services.
Nowadays, BlackBerry provides technology for the Internet of Things (IoT) for enterprises and government organizations. Its solutions include endpoint management and protection, embedded systems, transport asset tracking, secure communications, and alerts and crisis communication.
Recently, investors were unimpressed with BlackBerry’s soft performance in the enterprise software and services (ESS) business. Total IoT sales were also down 2% in the fiscal third quarter. Though revenue rose 23% year over year, it was primarily driven by the acquisition of Cylance.
That being said, BlackBerry remains part of a high-growth industry with enough opportunities for sustainable growth over the long term. The company has estimated its total addressable market (TAM) at $22 billion across verticals.
In the crisis communication management business, BlackBerry has forecast the TAM at $3 billion. The TAM for unified endpoint management, embedded software and endpoint security has been forecast at $3.2 billion, $1.8 billion and $14 billion respectively by BlackBerry.
BlackBerry is optimistic about its mobile threat-detection solution, which is driven by AI (artificial intelligence). This has been integrated with its unified endpoint management console, and other applications.
The company’s QNX platform continued to drive sales in the BTS (BlackBerry technology solutions) segment, and BlackBerry is pleased with the increase in QNX traction despite a slowdown in the global automobile industry.
The QNX business offers a range of secure software products. Though it’s currently popular in the autonomous vehicle space, QNX is looking to increase penetration in other verticals such as medical devices, robotics, and industrial automation. Market research company Gartner expects 250 million connected vehicles will hit the roads by 2020.
BlackBerry acquired Cylance for $1.4 billion , and will now have the first cybersecurity product for the automotive market. In the fiscal third quarter, Cylance contributed $40 million to BlackBerry revenue, accounting for around 15% of sales.
During the fiscal second quarter earnings call, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said:
With the addition of the Cylance AI security capabilities, we have the opportunity to provide a first cybersecurity platform for the auto market. JLR [Jaguar Land Rover] is the first to collaborate with us. We’re working with others in the auto industry, and those interactions look promising.
BlackBerry continues to win contracts with government organizations around the world, due to its focus on security and related services; it has contracts with 16 of the G20 governments. These contracts should result in a steady stream of revenue over the next few years.
To keep investors interested, BlackBerry needs to stabilize revenue from the ESS segment and increase the customer base in Cylance and QNX verticals.
Etsy aims to enhance the user experience
Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) is a marketplace for entrepreneurs to offer unique and creative handcrafted goods. The company is optimistic about long-term growth in this space and has valued the global addressable market at $250 billion. But what is likely to drive sales higher?
In the first nine months of 2019, Etsy reported a 23.6% increase in gross merchandise sales. Comparatively, revenue was up 35.9% in this period, to $548.38 million. By its third quarter (which ended Sept. 30), Etsy had over 2.4 million sellers offering 63 million items.
The company has been working on enhancing both buyer and seller experiences on its platform. In the third quarter, Etsy launched variation photos, which enable buyers to visualize color and design variations without the need for a separate listing. It also launched a tool making it easier for sellers to adopt this feature.
Etsy is also improving search capabilities on its platform. It has upgraded context-specific search-ranking algorithms from linear to nonlinear models. These changes have increased conversion rates, positively affecting sales figures.
During the Q3 earnings call, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman stated:
We believe that as we continue to iterate on this new, even more sophisticated modeling approach, our algorithms will learn and deliver a more personalized shopping experience, showing results more specifically tailored to each individual buyer’s tastes and preferences.
We’ve already seen a meaningful impact to conversion rates with our first launch of this new model, and think that’s just the beginning. Similar to our prior CSR [context-specific ranking] work, we expect to apply these search-model improvements to other areas of the business, like promoted listings, in order to increase the relevance of ad results and drive more revenue.
The company is also enhancing features on the Etsy app, which has a loyal base of customers, to create a rewarding and engaging experience for repeat buyers. It has improved the buyer onboarding experience, as well as features of the home-screen feed, search dropdown menus, cart modifications, and recommendations.
Etsy grew the number of active buyers by 20.7% and sellers by 26.9% year over year as of the end of the third quarter. According to analyst estimates, Etsy sales in 2019 might grow 34.6%, to $813 million. By 2021, its revenue might touch $1.24 billion.
Wall Street also forecasts EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) to rise from $140 million in 2018 to $301 million in 2021. These growth metrics make Etsy a strong buy, especially given the stock’s 38% decline since March 2019.