Wall Street favors winners, and a lot of also-rans in a variety of different businesses get kicked to the curb. But every now and then a business that seems to have lost finds a way to reinvent itself, and when that happens investors can profit from the comeback.
In this Dec. 14 Motley Fool Live segment Motley Fool contributor Lou Whiteman tells "The Wrap" host Jason Hall why BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) is his choice for turnaround stock of the year.
Lou Whiteman: Well, let's talk about a company BlackBerry, which us old people still call Research In Motion. As those are old enough to remember, they were the maker of the iPhone before the iPhone, and for the record, I always like my Palm Pre better. But the BlackBerry was a darn good phone.
Jason Hall: But let me tell you, the roller ball.
Lou Whiteman: That was amazing.
Jason Hall: It was so disruptive.
Lou Whiteman: That was amazing. Everything BlackBerry did was disruptive, and then they were disrupted. But that's kind of the point because those days are long gone. Research In Motion changed its name. It stopped making handsets. The company back in the day, the reason it lasted as long as it did as a phone company was it had a really good reputation for security with corporate users. So that became its focus. They've focused on software, security, online tools. Earlier this month, BlackBerry jumped back onto a lot of radar screens when they announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services, developed a platform. What they're hoping to do is manage all of the different sensors on automobiles and have them all securely work together, read a common platform. It's a huge need and it's a monster of a challenge to get right. It's too soon to say how the story ends. The stock is up 184% from its March lows, but it is still way, way down from the days of BlackBerry. This, though, in terms of a second act, it is looking like they really have a second act there. I mentioned Palm, my beloved Palm. They were sold on a fire sale to HP, and then HP dumped it to LG, and now what's left of Palm, it's running the smart TVs for LG. By comparison, BlackBerry looks pretty good. It's a four, five billion-dollar company. They get this right, it's going to fit very nicely into someone's portfolio, and it will have been a heck of a turnaround that I personally didn't see coming a year after the iPhone was introduced.