BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) stock is up more than 50% year to date, making it one of the best stocks to own in 2014. Can the rally continue? Guest host Alison Southwick put these questions to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up on Wall Street, The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite technology, movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Tim says CEO John Chen deserves credit for making moves to take advantage of BlackBerry's strong positioning in fields where security is at a premium. Health care, for example. In April, the company announced an investment in NantHealth for creating what amounts to a custom smartphone for use in hospitals. Doctors could benefit if BlackBerry and NantHealth provide a better platform for secure, on-the-go viewing of CT scans and other 3-D images.
Even so, the underlying business hasn't changed much. Revenue continues to slide, returns on capital are in the red, and profits remain elusive. A full turnaround could take years, if it ever comes, especially if Chen continues to pour significant resources into battling Apple and Google for a bigger share of the North American smartphone market.
Nathan says BlackBerry stock was all but left for dead. That there are now signs of life means only that the company has defied lowered expectations. Winning back customers who've since left for Apple or Google is another matter entirely, though the new Passport smart device could help by reminding users of designs that first helped BlackBerry emerge as a leader in digital communications.
In the end, Tim and Nathan agree that investors shouldn't buy BlackBerry stock just on the promises afforded by health care and the new Passport. But it's also nice to see Chen moving the company in the right direction.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. How do you rate BlackBerry stock right now? Click the video to watch Alison put Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then leave your take in the comments box below. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!