Stock in Research in Motion whipsawed again this week as markets reacted to ongoing speculation about the future of the troubled BlackBerry maker.
On Thursday, RIM shares shot up on the Toronto Stock Exchange amid news reports that the company had engaged investment banker Goldman Sachs to explore its strategic options. Asked to comment on the report, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company issued an email response Friday that said only: "Sorry, RIM’s standard policy to decline comment on rumours and speculation."
The company's stock, after trending upward again early Friday, fell back to close with a loss of 24 cents at $16.56, giving back most of the previous day's gains.
RIM has been the target of takeover talk for months, its stock having lost some 75 per cent of its value over the past year amid faltering smartphone and table sales in the important U.S. Market. Many investors hold RIM founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis responsible for the company's problems, including a slowness to bring out new products to meet new market competition. Many are also dissatisfied with RIM's leadership structure in which Lazaridis and Balsillie share duties as both co-chairmen and co-CEOs.
The RIM board has launched a review of the company's governance structure and there have been suggestions that the two men might be willing to give up their roles as co-chairmen.
Barbara Stymiest, an independent member of the RIM board , is considered to be a leading candidate to take over the post. Stymiest, 55, is a former chief executive of the TSX Group who left the stock market operator to become chief operating officer of RBC Financial Group. She retired from the bank last year.