Industry watchers are still mixed on whether or not BlackBerry (BBRY) can pull off the incredible comeback it is currently attempting. Some big firms are seeing signs of life while others maintain their position that BlackBerry is a sinking ship. Count Connecticut-based equity research firm MKM Partners in the latter category. In a recent note to clients, MKM analyst Michael Genovese cut his outlook on BlackBerry shares and said there is now a 90% chance BlackBerry 10 will flop.
“We have been testing the Z10 and like the operating system, especially the touchscreen BB10 keyboard predictive text functionality, but we do not think it is differentiated enough to save the brand,” Genovese wrote. “The Z10 hardware seems bulky and heavy, but the biggest problem by far is the lack of available applications for BB10.”
The analyst says that based on his digging, fewer than 10% of the top-100 Android apps and fewer than 5% of the most popular iPhone apps are available on BlackBerry’s new platform. “Not a single top-50-grossing app on Android or the iPhone can be acquired for the Z10,” Genovese noted.
MKM cut its rating on BlackBerry shares from Neutral to Sell with a $10 price target, down from $12.
“Our new price target reflects the lower probability of success we attribute to BlackBerry 10 following our testing of the Z10 and observing BB10’s momentum stall out in the U.K. after only a few weeks,” Genovese wrote. “We reduce the estimated probability that BB10 will be a success and the stock will appreciate to $40 to 10% from 15% and increase the estimated probability that BB10 will fail and the stock will decline to $7 to 90% from 85%.”
MKM now sees February-quarter BlackBerry Z10 channel sales totaling 400,000 units, down from its earlier estimate of 1.5 million.