Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) both manufacture smartphones, but that’s where the similarity between the companies ends. And when the two companies are put up head to head in a stock match-up, which one would you think analysts would predict to outperform the other? In this case, they’re betting on the little guy.
Jefferies’ analysts did some checks of Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL)’s supply chain and found some interesting evidence to support a “strong” second quarter for Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) and a “weaker” second quarter for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). They did similar checks in December and expected that BlackBerry would likely have a solid November quarter and Apple would have a “strong” one.
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In a report issued to investors this morning, Jefferies’ analysts said Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL)’s May quarter guidance indicates a “substantial ramp” in shipments for the BlackBerry maker as its Q10 handset launches during the quarter.
The analysts said Jabil’s May quarter guidance also indicates that business is soft for Apple. Jabil missed margin expectations for its August quarter last year, and they believe the company guided light because of Apple-related manufacturing problems. In addition, the analysts said Jabil “implied that its Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s business would be down” more than 10 percent quarter over quarter and then rebound in the August quarter, because of the launch of a new product.
According to Jefferies’ analysts, this could be confirmation that the iPhone 5S won’t launch in the second quarter. As a result, they continue to see risks to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) meeting consensus in its next earnings report.
The analysts have given shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) a Hold rating and shares of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) Ltd a Buy rating.
Trading on shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was mostly flat in late Thursday morning trades, while shares of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) rose 2 percent. Shares of Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL) fell 4 percent in late Thursday morning trades.