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Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion, holds the new Blackberry PlayBook with a screen projection of the device as he speaks at the RIM Blackberry developers conference in San Francisco, California in this September 27, 2010 file photo. (ROBERT GALBRAITH/REUTERS)
Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion, holds the new Blackberry PlayBook with a screen projection of the device as he speaks at the RIM Blackberry developers conference in San Francisco, California in this September 27, 2010 file photo. (ROBERT GALBRAITH/REUTERS)

National Bank downgrades RIM - again Add to ...

Just a week after stating he's lost confidence in Research In Motion and slashing his price target on the stock by 38 per cent, National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson is at it again. He's downgraded the stock another notch, to "underperform" from "sector perform," while cutting his price target a further $10 (U.S.), to $40.

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"After spending several days at RIM's annual BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, we've revisited our model to reflect shipments delays and lower expected global market share," Mr. Thompson said in a note late Thursday.

"While the mood at the show was one of optimism (mostly enterprise participants), our view is that RIM is very focused on its enterprise roots and not quickly enough delivering solutions for the much larger consumer market."



He lowered his financial estimates on RIM to reflect another 1 per cent global market share loss in both fiscal 2012 and 2013. He also modified his fiscal 2012 quarterly shipment expectations to reflect the potential for additional BlackBerry 7 operating system delays.



Before last week's downgrade, Mr. Thompson was in the bullish camp over RIM. He's still a fan of RIM's coming QNX operating system, and sees it competing quite well against the Apple iOS and Google Android platforms. It's the timing - which he calls "precariously late" - that has him turning his back on RIM.

RIM is launching its refreshed BlackBerry smartphone lineup using the BlackBerry 7 operating system before migrating to the QNX platform.



"Our concern is that the company experiences handset delays in both upcoming BlackBerry 7 operating system launches in 2011 and QNX in 2012. The smartphone market is rapidly changing and will present new threats to RIM while we await new handset launches."



Mr. Thompson said he expects the stock "to drift much lower" before potentially becoming a buying opportunity. "It's really hard to take a long-term view on this stock with all the hurdles ahead," he said.



Mr. Thompson's view on RIM is increasingly on the low end of analyst estimates. The median target price of 42 analysts tracked by Capital IQ is $58; the lowest is $35.

RIM saw a slew of analyst price target cuts last week after issuing an earnings warning on fiscal first-quarter earnings.

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