How much more bad news can Research In Motion’s increasingly fragile reputation handle? The way the company has performed this year, we can’t say we’re surprised to hear this one. Still, it’s not looking good for RIM.
Jeff Kvaal, a Barclays Capital analyst, today lowered his valuation of RIM’s shares from $40 to $23, and his reasons are aplenty.
Yesterday a major report hit saying that Jaguar Financial, backed by an unknown group of RIM shareholders, was calling for a major shakeup within the Waterloo-based company. Today, Kvaal’s rating on the BlackBerry maker, from Overweight to Equal Weight, has been lowered because of what he believes to be a number of challenges the company is facing with its new QNX operating system.
RIM is expected to deliver new QNX-based smartphones during Q1 2012, but Kvaal doesn’t think they’ll arrive until the middle of next year.
We believe QNX smartphones are delayed beyond management’s last public statements of a 1Q12 release, said Kvaal. The company has recently shied away from any reaffirmation of the timeline and have had several public forums to do so. … Putting this aside, our math on carrier certification timelines which require at least six months in the US suggests a late 1Q12 launch at best. … However, we believe technical challenges are high as we have seen with the delay of Playbook 2.0, and we therefore consider a mid-year launch more likely and our checks across the distribution channel support this view.
The old saying goes, “Things just went from bad to worse.” For RIM, things have gone from bad, to worse, to absolutely awful. The company is fast losing its ability to stay competitive in the face of Apple and Google, and consumers, shareholders and analysts are growing increasingly dissatisfied.
With all that in mind, you’d think RIM is doing everything it can to release its new QNX devices as soon as possible. But will that be enough?