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The BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone is introduced at a news conference in New York August 3, 2010. It launches in Canada Sept. 30. (SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS)
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone is introduced at a news conference in New York August 3, 2010. It launches in Canada Sept. 30. (SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS)

Eye on Equities

BlackBerry losing ground in U.S. to iPhone: Canaccord Add to ...

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity have some sobering findings for Research In Motion after conducting checks of sales in the U.S. smart phone market. While RIM has enjoyed modestly better BlackBerry sales following the launch of the touchscreen Torch running the OS 6 operating system at the giant U.S. carrier AT&T, they found the BlackBerry is continuing to lose share to the iPhone 4 and Android smart phones.

About 80 per cent of Torch sales at AT&T were from existing customers upgrading their existing BlackBerrys, according to their checks. New smart phone consumers, however, tended to choose the iPhone 4 and the new Android smart phone, the Samsung Captivate. Their checks also indicated continued BlackBerry share losses at Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile to Android smart phones.

“With Windows Phone 7 launching soon at AT&T, we believe RIM will lose smart phone market share in its key North American market” during the fourth quarter of this year and in 2011.

The iPhone 4 remains the top-selling smart phone at AT&T, with the Torch in second place. Also favourable to the outlook for Apple Inc. : Canaccord said it believes the faulty antenna issue that plagued the tech giant is no longer an issue, as there have been almost no iPhone 4 returns.

Downside: Canaccord rates RIM as a hold, defined as a stock expected to generate risk-adjusted returns of zero to 10 per cent over the next 12 months.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. should be able to handle a greater proportion of Teck Resources Ltd.’s westbound coal shipments thanks to a 10-year deal reached this week for the railway to transport coal from five mines in southeast B.C. to Vancouver area ports, said CIBC analyst Jacob Bout.

Upside: Mr. Bout increased CP’s coal volume assumptions for 2011 and raised his price target on CP by $2 to $65.

Fibria Celulose S.A. , a Brazil-based paper product company, will be negatively affected by currency fluctuations and increased discounting in the eucalyptus pulp market, said BMO analyst Stephen Atkinson. “We value the stock at a premium because of its low-cost facilities. However, its margin advantage over its competition is shrinking quickly,” he said.

Downside: Mr. Atkinson lowered his 12-month target price to $15.00 from $17.50.

Colabor Group Inc. , a wholesaler and distributor of food and non-food products, reported third-quarter operating earnings substantially below consensus expectations as improvement in food service demand has been much slower-than-expected to materialize, said Desjardins Securities analyst Keith Howlett.

Downside: Mr. Howlett cut his target to $11.50 from $12.50, while maintaining his “Hold-Average Risk” rating.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. ’s value creation plan unveiled Wednesday detailed that capital expenditure spending in 2011-12 will be substantially higher than expected and will result in an increase in depreciation and interest expenses, said TD Newcrest analyst Michael Van Aelst. “The substantial capex program planned is arguably an area of concern given that any additional material external headwinds could prevent Maple Leaf from achieving its profit targets,” he said.

Downside: Mr. Aelst downgraded the stock to a hold while maintaining his 12-month price target of $13.00.

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