Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) or (“BlackBerry”) launched BB10 at the end of January in the U.K. The company’s new device has since been reported to be running out of stock in several stores in the U.K, due to what Jefferies analysts view as an insatiable demand. The company is seen to be attracting above expectation demand levels for BB10. However, according to other reports, this is a very contradicting opinion.
Earlier today, we covered a report by Pacific Crest Equity Research analysts, who expressed absurdly, an adverse opinion on BB10 demand and sales. The analysts from Pacific Crest estimate Z10 shipments of between 275,000- 325,000 units for the February quarter, as compared to Jefferies estimate of about 500,000 units.
Pacific Crest do caution that despite Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s better than expected shipments in some of its strongholds – that is the U.K and Canada – the two are small markets for high-end devices. Several other analysts, including Canaccord Genuity, have also expressed pessimism over Z10 February quarter shipments. It appears as though Jefferies are part of the few bullish analysts on BB10 shipments.
In a report published on Wednesday, Jefferies analysts wrote, “Initial Z10 sales have not been as bad as many feared. Recent launches in France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait have gone well. In the UK 20%+ of Carphone Warehouse phones are out of stock based on Tuesday night checks”.
Nonetheless, Jefferies revenue estimates still remain below street estimates at $2.8 billion compared to $2.9 billion, for the quarter. The company raised its revenue and EPS estimates from $2.5 billion and ($0.42) to $2.8 billion and ($0.34), slightly below street at ($0.33 EPS). The analysts also project a gross margin of 30 percent on Z10 sales, with an average selling price estimated at $600.
The analysts also wrote, “We remain well above St[reet] for the May quarter and Aug quarter (we estimate 4M BB10 sales at a $600 ASP and 30% GM in each quarter) but reiterate that it is not just about the phone. We continue to see software opportunities in mobile device management and BYOD to drive value.”
Indeed, it seems that everyone now is recognizing the fact that device sales are not enough to drive revenue growth. Just as Tim Cook said during Goldman Sachs Technolgy conference, the hardware market is becoming saturated and players must seek to exploit other areas associated within the industry. Software and services is one of them, and Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will have to broaden its presence in these area to complement its device sale margins.