BlackBerry Ltd Still Far From Earning Analysts’ Confidence

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s Passport is receiving mixed feedback from all over, but financial analysts are being largely indifferent. They are sticking to their estimates, with ratings swinging from neutral to pessimistic, even after the launch of the Passport.

Too soon to comment on the BlackBerry Passport

Cormark Securities analyst Richard Tse told The Globe and Mail that it is too soon to draw any conclusion about the Passport’s success and maintained a price target of $11.50 and a Market Perform rating on the company’s stock.

CIBC analyst Todd Coupland said that BlackBerry stock is not expected to move upwards and assigned a lower price target of $6.25, much below Thursday’s close of $9.80 on the NASDAQ. Coupland said that a lot must be done to turn around the company and it is too soon to conclude that these efforts will stabilize device shipments and service revenues.

According to some experts, the Passport is a high-end device that will not support sales widely. There are others expecting a wider market for the upcoming Classic model, which is expected to arrive this fall.

Citi analyst Ehud Gelblum said in a note, “We believe the Passport does little to change the direction of the company.”

A number of analysts estimated that the revenue for the current fiscal year will be around $4 billion and that it will be marginally more next year.

Options open for Chen

John Chen, CEO of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, said that around 10 million smartphones should be sold per year to reach breakeven, and if that is not accomplished, then the option to close the hardware business and focus on the company’s other services, like security and device management software and services for corporate and government or enterprise users. Earlier, Taiwanese contract manufacturing company Foxconn Technology Group entered into a deal with the Canadian company to make BlackBerry devices and endure a large amount of business risk for some profit, provided sales of the phones are good.

BlackBerry’s main source of revenue comes from selling devices and charging service fees to users. Chen is making extensive efforts to turn around the company by cutting costs and aims to post positive cash flow by the end of the fiscal year in February.

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