Since then, however, shares have given back some of those gains, losing 29% so far to start 2018.
The recent pullback in BlackBerry stock has given investors a great opportunity to invest in one of Canada’s leading technology companies.
Some may take issue with that last statement, questioning whether it is still true to consider BlackBerry a leading technology company.
The company rose to fame more than a decade ago, pioneering the development and widespread adoption of smartphone technology that enabled users to access the world – anywhere – through the push of a button.
However, success almost inevitably leads to competition, and it wasn’t long before the Waterloo based company was usurped by Cupertino, California’s own Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Taking a page out of the success it had enjoyed with the launch of its ground-breaking mp3 player, the Apple iPod – then led by its founder and CEO Steve Jobs – revolutionized mobile technology with the iPhone, thereby helping Apple become the world’s largest publicly traded company, with a market capitalization that now approaches $1 trillion dollars.
Unfortunately for BlackBerry shareholders, Apple’s success all but displaced BlackBerry’s market share, as the phone-maker was unable to keep up with the pace of innovation that consumers demanded.
But what BlackBerry did have – and still does – is leading-edge software technology.
In 2013, BlackBerry hired John Chen as its interim CEO and chairman of the board.
Chen, who had previously turned around enterprise software and services company Sybase, vowed to take over the reins at BlackBerry, returning the company to profitability and its former standing as a leader in information technology.
Under Chen’s leadership, the company’s strategy has been to do away with its old handset manufacturing business and instead focus on the company’s key strength – its industry leading enterprise software and security technology.
In fiscal 2016, software and services made up just 24% of the company’s sales.
But by last year, that figure had jumped to 50%.
The next leg of BlackBerry’s future will include the application of its QNX software in autonomous vehicles, including a deal recently inked with Baidu to jointly develop self-driving vehicle technology.
But Chen, who the company recently said will be in charge until at least 2023, is looking even farther into the future.
Chen believes that his company’s future will be firmly engrained in the Internet of Things.
Hundreds of millions of new devices are expected to be added to the Internet by 2020 and Chen is confident that BlackBerry will be in an enviable position to compete.
“It’s a huge market, and it’s growing, and we’re very fortunate that we can play well in it.”
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Jason Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and BlackBerry and has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. BlackBerry is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.