RIM stock hits strange low

RIM stock is now worth less than its total assets. In other words, you could buy every share of RIM stock for less than the value of the company's cash, patents, and real estate. 

Beck Diefenbach/Reuters/File
RIM stock dropped below the value of the company's assets. Pictured, Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO of Research In Motion, speaks about the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, during BlackBerry's DevCon in San Francisco last month.

The stock market has spoken: Research In Motion has no future.

Today, the price of RIM stock dropped below its book value of $18.92 per share, as calculated by Bloomberg. That's the value of its assets, including cash, patents, and real estate, minus its liabilities.

That basically means that the market thinks RIM will shrink, not grow. The last time the stock price dipped below its market value was when RIM was losing money back in 2003.

Why the sagging stock? Last month's outage hurt RIM's reputation. But the company has bigger problems. HTC shipped more smartphones to retailers in the U.S. than any other company last quarter, surpassing both Samsung and Apple, according to Canalys. 

HTC shipped 5.7 million smartphones, while Samsung was at 5.2 million and Apple at 4.9 million.

But the real loser here isn't Apple. It's Research In Motion.

We talked Canalys VP and analyst Chris Jones about the report, and he cautioned us not to place too much stock in Apple's third-place finish, as sales were suppressed last quarter by the rumors that a new iPhone would soon be coming out. He noted that Apple has usually seen big spikes when a new iPhone is released, and he expects that to happen this quarter as well with the iPhone 4S.

The real loser becomes much clearer when you look at year-ago stats for the top five phone makers, which Jones shared with us.

HTC and Samsung have both grown their market shares more than 50%, while Apple's has shrunk slightly. But RIM? It's down by almost two-thirds.

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