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BlackBerry Short Interest Climbs to Record Before Results

BlackBerry Short Interest Climbs to Record on Eve of Earnings
A sales consultant prepares a BlackBerry Q10 display at a Bell Canada retail location in Toronto. Photographer: Galit Rodan/Bloomberg

Bets against BlackBerry reached a record high as the Canadian smartphone maker prepares to report quarterly results tomorrow and give investors a clearer picture of how its new BlackBerry 10 devices are selling.

The combined short interest in market value of BlackBerry shares in New York and Toronto reached 33 percent of the market value on June 20, according to data compiled by Markit, a financial-services firm. Investors taking short positions bet against a stock by borrowing shares they expect to fall, aiming to profit by repaying the borrowed equities at a lower price.

Tomorrow’s results will include the first full quarter in which the new touch-screen Z10 has been on sale, giving investors an important indicator of whether BlackBerry’s recovery and bid to claw back market share against Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. is on track.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s share of the global smartphone market shrank to 2.9 percent last quarter from 6.4 percent a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. Apple’s iOS platform, combined with Google Inc.’s Android operating system, which is used by Samsung, accounted for 92 percent of the market in that period.

BlackBerry sales probably climbed 20 percent to $3.37 billion in fiscal first quarter from a year earlier, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That would be the first year-on-year gain in eight quarters. BlackBerry is predicted to report earnings of 8 cents a share excluding one-time items, compared with a loss of 37 cents a year earlier.

BlackBerry fell 2.9 percent to $14.48 at the close in New York, snapping three straight days of gains. The stock has climbed 22 percent this year.

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