That was the quantitative part. Now, let's talk qualitative! As I mentioned above, Android is eating everyone's lunch, maybe with the exception of the iPhone. RIM's stock has been punished for the last little while. If you think back about 4 years (before the iPhone came out), when someone said the word, "smartphone", what would come to mind? It would be a Blackberry...and maybe, just maybe a Palm Treo. RIM had its moat back then. There was no other phone that could do email even close to what Blackberries could. Nowadays, when you think smartphone, you have a myriad of devices including the iPhone, the Droids, the HTCs, etc. Blackberries have lost their appeal. Its last stronghold is corporate email, and even that last leg is a little shaky. Make no mistake, RIM has lost its moat. It needs to get its mojo back!
RIM does have one thing on its side, and that is a megatrend! Mobile internet is going to be huge and it will grow to be as large as the internet itself. There is a fundamental shift from feature phones to smartphones happening right now. What this means is that even though RIM may be losing market share, its sales (and profits) may continue to grow because more and more people are buying smartphones. It is not a zero-sum game.
Quantitatively, RIM has all the ingredients for a great moat. Qualitatively, that moat is already gone. Given its consistent history, I will rate its moat a 7.
The payback time, however, is looking pretty good at 6.7 years. This is a difficult one. Margin of safety is not truly there, but payback time looks good. It's not absolutely horrible, but not a home run either. RIM gets a 7 for margin of safety.
Lazaridis is the founder of the company and is the guy who probably does all the work at RIM. He is in less of the limelight than his partner, Balsillie. He is quite philanthropic, having founded the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He also gave a big chunk of money to the University of Waterloo. Anyway...if there's one thing about CEOs, it's that if they are the founder of the company, chances are he's good. To name a couple of examples, Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Steve Jobs (Apple). Why is that the case? It's very simple. The company is his/her baby and he/she has probably got a pretty big stake in it.
Insider trading information was not readily available on Yahoo Finance or MSN Money. Not too sure why, but it being a Canadian company may have something to do with it. So, can't comment on that too much.
Overall, I believe management is quite good, but there's no direct data to support it, except for the fact that the company has ruled the smartphone space for many years. They are reacting well to competitors with the introduction of the Blackberry Torch and the PlayBook. I think there's still some juice left in the company.
As for the ethical aspect of RIM, I see it as fairly neutral. There was an accounting issue a few years back. Since then, Jim Basillie had resigned as chairman to be in line with best practices in corporate governance. From that point on, not much has occurred to make this company suspicious of unethical activities.
The business itself is beneficial to our society. Blackberries were designed to improve efficiency, even though some may argue that they have caused a whole slew of other problems, including tying employees down to work even on weekends and weeknights. Business people like them and now, consumers like them too. I think RIM is a company that contributes positively to society and, therefore, "investable" in this regard.