UBS cuts RIM estimates as company faces steep challenges

UBS analyst Amitabh Passi on Wednesday cut his price target on shares of Research In Motion stock to $30 from a previous target of $41, and reiterated a Neutral rating. Passi stated in his note to investors that RIM is currently facing challenges in the “platform wars” underway between companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft. While the analyst sees the successful launches of RIM’s BlackBerry 7 phones as being important for the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor in the near term, he says the company’s successful transition to QNX is much more important to RIM strategically. In other words, there’s still hope if BlackBerry 7 devices aren’t a collective home run. In the meantime however, Passi says that UBS’s checks reaffirm RIM’s declining smartphone market share. “Our store checks also show accelerating market share deterioration for new subscribers during June and July as multiple top-tier Android products have been rolling out and Apple continues to gain market share,” the analyst wrote. As a result, Passi cut his revenue estimates for RIM’s fiscal year to $19.8 billion from $21.1 billion, and he lowered his EPS estimate to $4.82 from $5.81. Also lowered in Passi’s note were his smartphone unit shipments estimate, which dropped to 51.5 million units from 54.9 million, and his estimate for PlayBook shipments, which now sits at 2.5 million units compared to his earlier projection of 3.6 million tablets.

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