Market Overview

What Wall Street Thinks Of BlackBerry Ltd

What Wall Street Thinks Of BlackBerry Ltd

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ: BBRY) made headlines earlier this week when it unveiled a new smartphone, and its earnings report this Friday could have a material impact on the company's stock price.

Opinions on BlackBerry's investment prospects vary, and for good reason: It's up about 31 percent in 2014, but down 85 percent over the past five years. Wall Street, in particular, has quite a few viewpoints on the subject.

What Wall Street Thinks

Morgan Stanley, which holds an Equal-Weight rating on the stock, said it remains "circumspect" in the face of BlackBerry's Passport launch.

"Passport is a niche within a niche product, in our view," analyst James Faucette wrote.

He added: "[W]e couldn’t help but feel that it is really the device that BlackBerry needed 5 years ago...Because of its reliance on BES10 for full enterprise functionality—which has seen limited adoption, the unique form factor...and the limited initial distribution...we expect that the Passport will only appeal to a fraction of the enterprise BlackBerry subscribers base (which we now believe is roughly 10M)."

Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, reiterated a Neutral rating with a $10 price target on Blackberry earlier this week. That target, Goldman's Simona Jankowski says, is the result of a 70-30 split between the bank's sum-of-the-parts valuation and the company's M&A component.

"The primary upside risks include M&A or a turnaround, while downside risks are deteriorating smartphone market share and declining service revenues," she adds.

Related Link: BlackBerry Posts Narrower-Than-Expected Q2 Loss, Shares Surge

On Thursday, Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff also detailed his thoughts on BlackBerry's Passport event. "There was nothing that struck us as transformative with the device or the software update, but then again, it is possible that Blackberry does not need to be transformative at this point, just iterative enough to keep the faithful loyal," Modoff writes.

Deutsche Bank maintains an $8 price target on the stock and a Hold rating.

Cormark Securities, lastly, downgraded its view of BlackBerry earlier this week. It now holds a Market Perform rating on the stock with a price target of $11.50.

Cormark analyst Richard Tse says fundamentals are priced into shares, and adds: "BlackBerry is in a better position than last year...but the stock price has also moved to reflect that and we believe the next leg of developments will be more challenging than the streamlining the company has done.

"In our view, as much as we want to get our hands on the new Passport or Classic, BES 12 will be the big thing when it comes to driving the numbers and with its target launch in November, it is also what will drive the bulk of the numbers going forward," Tse explains. Only time will tell.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Posted-In: Blackberry Brian Modoff Cormark Deutsche Bank James FaucetteAnalyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


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