BlackBerry shares fall as analyst downgrades stock ahead of earnings

TORONTO Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:51pm EDT

A new Blackberry Z10 smartphone is displayed at a store in New York, March 22, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A new Blackberry Z10 smartphone is displayed at a store in New York, March 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry shares fell 4 percent on Wednesday after a Bernstein Research analyst cut his rating on the stock to "underperform" ahead of the company's quarterly earnings release next week.

While Bernstein's Pierre Ferragu said he expected disappointing results from the smartphone maker, other analysts have bullish expectations, pointing to an even more volatile run for a generally volatile stock.

In the last few days, there have been are both upgrades and downgrades to the stock as BlackBerry seeks to win back market share it has lost to the likes of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics with new smartphones powered by its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

"The initial enthusiasm that we observed for Blackberry 10 devices now appears to be waning," Ferragu said in a note to clients. He also cut his price target on the company to $10 from $15.

Shares of BlackBerry, which reports fiscal first-quarter results on June 28, fell 3.6 percent to $14.31 in morning Nasdaq trading. The stock dropped as low as $6.22 last September, but has more than doubled in value since then.

The new devices launched over the last few months to mostly positive reviews. But the company has not yet released too many details about sales figures.

Societe Generale analyst Andy Perkins last week upgraded BlackBerry to "buy" from "sell," saying that channel checks had come up with some surprisingly strong numbers for the company's unit sales.

RBC Capital Markets on Monday raised its first-quarter sales estimate to 3.5 million BlackBerry 10 units from 2.75 million. It expects shipments of 4 million BB10-enabled devices in the current quarter, up from a prior outlook of 3 million.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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Comments (2)
Um, it was just a blackberry fad. Did anyone really take this serious??? This company just keeps making mistakes and will never catch up, regardless of how much it spends. There are no geniuses left at the company and politics will always kill innovation there.

Jun 19, 2013 12:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DogBerry wrote:
All current investors need to be aware that 32% of BB stock is currently short. What that means in english is that there is almost 3 BILLION dollars on the table saying this stock is going down. The truth is that the results on the 28 will solidly beat market expectations and TH (CEO) will announce several exciting projects in the works. The short sellers are starting to realize this and they will do and say whatever they have to in order to protect their 3 BILLION on the table. Be prepared for more bogus slaming reports before the 28th. The shorts will try to create a downward spike in share price so that they will have an opportunity to get out prior to the quarterly results coming out on the 28th. Is there anyone left that understands what buy and hold means?

Jun 19, 2013 3:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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