Research In Motion Ltd. beat expectations with the release of its fiscal second quarter results on Thursday, but analysts aren't exactly overjoyed. The bears remain bearish, while even the most bullish have trimmed their target prices or left them unchanged.
The split appears due to where you want to focus your attention. If near-term earnings suggest that RIM is more than capable of holding its ground against competition from Apple Inc.'s iPhone, then RIM looks like an awfully tempting buy right now.
On the other hand, some analysts continue to focus on net new subscribers, which came in below expectations and suggest that RIM is having a tough time attracting new fans.
Here's a run-down from some analysts (by the way, the target prices along with the quote above are in U.S. dollars, since RIM also trades in New York). Curiously, Canadian analysts appear to be a lot more enthusiastic than U.S.-based analysts. Based on Bloomberg numbers for 27 analysts, the Canadians have an average target price of $88. The U.S. analysts have an average target price of $59, or more than 30 per cent lower than the Canadians.
Chris Umiastowski, TD Newcrest: "We doubt these results will immediately change any of the bear arguments on the stock, but they should drive up fiscal 2011 and possibly fiscal 2012 estimates simply given the near term strength in the story. We believe this will trigger a respectable rally in the stock." Recommendation: Action List Buy. Target: $90 (U.S.), unchanged.
Jim Suva, Citigroup: "RIMM will stop giving ASP [average sales price] and net subscriber guidance, which investors generally view as a negative as if companies had robust info they typically are not shy to share it and as companies get larger they often give provide increased disclosure, rather than less." Recommendation: Sell. Target: $47, down from $50.
RBC Capital Markets: Recommendation: Top pick (unchanged). Target: $90 (unchanged).
UBS: Recommendation: Neutral (unchanged). Target: $54 (down from $65).
CIBC: Recommendation: Sector outperform (unchanged). Target: $90 (unchanged).
JPMorgan: Recommendation: Overweight (unchanged). Target: $53 (down from $66).
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly stated the recommendation by UBS. This version has been corrected.