RIM to benefit from job cuts: Macquarie

Tue May 29, 2012 9:15am EDT

A logo of the Blackberry maker's Research in Motion is seen on a building at the RIM Technology Park in Waterloo April 18, 2012. Picture taken April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A logo of the Blackberry maker's Research in Motion is seen on a building at the RIM Technology Park in Waterloo April 18, 2012. Picture taken April 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch

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(Reuters) - Additional job cuts at Research In Motion Ltd would be prudent as the BlackBerry maker tries to improve its free cashflow ahead of the planned launch of its next-generation phones later this year, Macquarie Equities Research said.

RIM, which employs about 16,500 people, plans to bring its workforce closer to 10,000 by early next year, two sources told Reuters.

"We support further cost realignment in the face of falling revenue and margins," Macquarie analyst Kevin Smithen said in a note to clients.

Macquarie cut its price target on RIM's U.S.-listed shares to $14.50 from $17.50. They had closed at $11.00 on Friday on the Nasdaq.

The Canadian smartphone maker is planning to launch its next-generation BlackBerry 10 phones later this year.

Smithen said the May and August quarters will be "especially difficult" for RIM as emerging market carriers begin to embrace Apple Inc's iPhone and low-cost Android devices.

(Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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