Since October 2006, the shares of Motorola have struggled, dropping more than 26% during this time frame. What's more, with the mobile market moving on from the company's wildly popular RAZR phone lineup, the company has seen its former market dominance erode rather quickly. It is under this auspice that billionaire investor Carl Ichan has once again expressed an interest in taking an active roll in the company.
BloggingStocks.com's Douglas McIntyre reported today that on the Financial Times, Icahn said There is value there, and if that value doesn't manifest itself I, as an activist, would think very seriously about coming back. Icahn has had one unsuccessful proxy fight with Motorola already.
According to McIntyre, Icahn may have picked the perfect time to push for getting the company to change its ways. Douglas cites the company's sliding handset sales and the fact that Samsung recent passed MOT as the world's number-2 cellphone maker. With MOT expected to have yet another bad quarter due to its slipping popularity in the handset market, McIntyre speculates that That may cause large investors in the company to finally lose their patience.
It seems that this trend of losing patience is already underway with many MOT investors. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.76 ranks above 81% of all those taken during the past year, indicating a wealth of pessimism from the investing public. Meanwhile, 20 of the 28 analysts following MOT rate the stock a hold or worse.
Fortunately for MOT, the stock has rebounded nicely from its August low, advancing about 26% during this time frame along its 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The shares have even broken out above the 19 level. With the threat of Ichan looming overhead, it could spur some of these bears to jump ship and add to the recent buying pressure. Though, much will depend on the company's upcoming earnings report.