Research In Motion Ltd. hit a new multi-year low on Monday, falling below $17 (U.S.) in New York, after a couple of analysts lowered their price targets on the stock. RBC Dominion Securities cut its target to $23 from $29, citing a slow down in BlackBerry Bold sales amid rising competition, while Credit Suisse cut its target to $20 from $30.
Those are big revisions, and what makes them even more remarkable is that they follow a trio of modest recommendation upgrades from analysts last week – among the first such positive thinking on the stock since it began its steep slide in March. The other interesting aspect to RIM's latest dip is that Apple Inc. isn't picking up the slack. Apple shares were down 2.1 per cent in afternoon trading, bringing its slide to more than 14 per cent over the past month.
A lot of the focus has been on competition with the smartphone segment, where the BlackBerry competes against the iPhone – and both compete against phones using the Google Android system. But you have to wonder if the tablet sector is also starting to weigh on stocks.
A number of Canadian retailers slashed the price on RIM's PlayBook tablets by an amazing $300 (Canadian) each on Friday. The sale is supposed to be temporary, but you have to wonder who-in-their-right-minds will be buying a PlayBook at full price from now on.
At the same time, Amazon.com Inc.'s new Fire tablet is causing quite a stir for its low price of $199 (U.S.). While reviewers note that the quality isn't up to iPad standards, it's hard to get past the price – which is no doubt going to sway some would-be iPad buyers.