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News Brief: Diehard BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) fans received some words of comfort from Executive Chairman and interim CEO John Chen today. In an open letter, Chen stated that the struggling smartphone maker is committed to rebuilding itself. "We have begun moving the company to embrace a multi-platform, [Bring Your Own Device] world by adopting a new mobility management platform and a new device strategy," he noted. "We are also leveraging our tremendous assets, including [BlackBerry Messenger], our network and QNX. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know there is more work to be done."
Truer words have never been spoken, considering the shares have shed roughly 46% year-to-date to hover at $6.45 -- just six pennies north of the annual low BBRY tagged yesterday. Not surprisingly, the stock's sentiment backdrop isn't exactly brimming with optimism. In fact, not one of the 27 analysts covering the security has handed out a "buy" or better rating. In addition, short interest currently accounts for 31.8% of BBRY's available float. It would take close to 14 days to cover these bearish bets, as the equity's average pace of trading.
In terms of today's options activity, around 38,000 puts have changed hands, compared to just 13,000 calls. Like yesterday, the November 7 put has garnered notable attention. However, open interest at this strike fell overnight, and the majority of the contracts traded today went off at the bid price, suggesting another round of sell-to-close activity here.