Can BlackBerry and the SEC Sort Out This Mess?

After a research firm’s report said BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) devices were being returned faster than sold, the company has fired back, calling the claims false and seeking regulatory review.

The story of BlackBerry is well known to many who follow the mobile industry. With the advent of touchscreen smartphones, BlackBerry-branded devices just slid right to the margins, and it’s been struggling to regain relevance. BB10 — its latest operating system — and the Z10 — its latest hardware — are the company’s attempt to take on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and Nokia (NYSE:NOK).

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Unfortunately for BlackBerry, a report released Thursday from a somewhat obscure source, research and investment firm Detwiler Fenton, suggested BlackBerry’s sales were so sluggish and its devices so undesired that device returns were actually outpacing sales. Naturally, a report like that incited investors to sell, pushing shares down 7.7 percent after the news became known.

However, BlackBerry has been quick to call Detwiler Fenton’s claims false. According to BlackBerry, Z10 returns have not exceeded the company’s forecasts and are following the industry norms. Thorsten Heins, the company’s chief executive officer, said that “to suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation.”…