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Bryan M. Wolfe
| April 29, 2011
On The Brink: BlackBerry Maker Worries Analysts
While Apple celebrates its continued grow, Research In Motion (RIM) is seeing its bottom-line erode. Now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting a well-respected analyst is moving its position on the BlackBerry maker from “buy” to “underperform.” This comes at a time when RIM attempts to reboot its business with its new PlayBook tablet. Once the darling of both Wall Street and Main Street, RIM continues to fall behind Apple and Google in the growing smart phone market. In fact, a recent report indicated just 11 percent of future handset buyers would chose a BlackBerry, versus 31 percent for an Android-based device, and 30 percent who indicated they’d buy an iPhone. Now, weakening sales and uncertainly about the PlayBook are leading to financial downgrades. According to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek:
We Were Wrong: QNX Too Late and Too Little; Downgrade to Underperform In addition to lowered May Q guidance, our checks indicate RIMM will see continued execution issues, product delays, and lackluster product launches for the next year. We believe Blackberry OS 7.0 (renamed, formerly 6.1) and QNX will be delayed and that carriers are withdrawing support. We cut our [Fiscal year 2012 (Feb) EPS [estimate] to $5.50 (guidance $7.50), [fiscal year 2013 estimate] to $5 [(versus the street consensus of $7.37)], and [our price] target to $35.QNX Software Systems is the RIM unit responsible for the PlayBook. The shares of the Waterloo, Ont.-based company, were off $7.33, or 13.6 per cent, at $46.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after touching a low of $46.26 near the start of the session. The sell-off comes one day after the company said that it shipped fewer BlackBerry smartphones than it expected. What do you think? Is RIM in real trouble? Leave your comments below.