The Motley Fool

This Tech Stock Is a Work-From-Home Beneficiary

Image credit: Photo by CIRA/.CA.

Rewind the clock back to 2007, and you may remember a time when BlackBerry (TSX:BB)(NYSE:BB) was a household name. At the time, the company was a market leader in mobile phones and the largest company by market cap in Canada. Now, in 2020, most seem to have left BlackBerry in the past, but the company may be setting up for another impressive run.

Learning from experience

Since 2013, BlackBerry has been led John Chen. This is important to note, because Chen is no stranger to reinventing struggling companies. In 1998, Chen was named CEO of Sybase, a struggling enterprise software company valued at $362 million. The end of his time at Sybase is marked with an acquisition by SAP for $5.8 billion, 16 times the original value of the company when Chen took over. It is possible that BlackBerry may experience a similar story.

Platform businesses win

Think back to some of the best-performing stocks in the past decade. Many of them are companies that are platform businesses, such as Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix. Similarly, BlackBerry has created a platform for software security, signalling a shift away from manufacturing mobile phones. The company has mostly caught the attention of investors with BlackBerry QNX, which is primarily used in support of automotive, medical, and industrial automation. However, it could be its enterprise security platform that causes BlackBerry stock to pop.

Why now?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses in every industry to close their doors. One solution to combat this issue is to allow employees to work from home. This introduces new challenges, as personal computers may be targeted by cyberattacks. In addition, enterprises will also need to track the identities of every entity attempting to access its network. The BlackBerry Spark platform may be the solution.

The platform largely uses artificial intelligence to perform continuous authentication, allowing it to predict and protect from cyberattacks with efficiency. If companies follow in the footsteps of corporate giants, like Twitter, and allow employees the option to permanently work from home, then BlackBerry may be very well positioned to benefit from the shift.


Although the run by BlackBerry in the late 2000s was nothing short of spectacular, so was its fall. From fiscal years 2014 to 2018, the company saw its revenue decline by over 85%. BlackBerry finally reported an increase in revenue this past fiscal year. If the company is unable to build off that momentum, then it may struggle to attract new investor money in the near term. It also took Chen over a decade to orchestrate the turnaround with Sybase, which means investors will have to be in it for the long haul if they want to reap the rewards from this stock.


The story is likely far from over for BlackBerry. The company has recently been exhibiting excellent momentum and the COVID-19 pandemic may have given it an additional boost. BlackBerry may return to be a household name sooner than you think.

This Tiny TSX Stock Could Be the Next Shopify

One little-known Canadian IPO has doubled in value in a matter of months, and renowned Canadian stock picker Iain Butler sees a potential millionaire-maker in waiting...
Because he thinks this fast-growing company looks a lot like Shopify, a stock Iain officially recommended 3 years ago - before it skyrocketed by 1,211%!
Iain and his team just published a detailed report on this tiny TSX stock. Find out how you can access the NEXT Shopify today!

Click here to discover how!

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.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix. Tom Gardner owns shares of Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends BlackBerry and BlackBerry and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. Fool contributor Jed Lloren owns shares of Facebook.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss an important event.

Iain Butler and the Stock Advisor Canada team only publish their new “buy alerts” twice a month, and only to an exclusively small group.

This is your chance to get in early on what could prove to be very special investment advice.

Enter your email address below to get started now, and join the other thousands of Canadians who have already signed up for their chance to get the market-beating advice from Stock Advisor Canada.