BlackBerry’s (RIMM) next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform has received mixed reviews out of the gate, but most seem to agree that the new OS and first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones will do little to attract interest from users of rival platforms. But as analysts continue to back off BlackBerry and investors lose confidence, Goldman Sachs sees a big opportunity for clients.
In a recent research note to clients picked up by Barron’s, Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski urged investors to take advantage of BlackBerry’s recent slide and buy shares at a discount.
“We continue to see significant upside to estimates over the next three quarters, as BB10 devices drive upside to the Street’s ASP and margin forecasts,” Jankowski wrote. “With 110 carriers completing lab testing by February, 50 carriers offering integrated billing, and Verizon getting an exclusive for the white Z10, we continue to see strong carrier support for BB10. Consumer adoption will decide the ultimate outcome, but estimate revisions should be a positive catalyst in the meantime.”
Jankowski also noted that BlackBerry Z10 sales could reach roughly 1 million units in the UK and Canada alone. The analyst believes BlackBerry World is off to a solid start with more than 70,000 available BlackBerry 10 apps, and the new platform includes a number of novel features that will attract attention.
“Consistent with BB10s browser superior performance on industry benchmarks – the Ringmark and HTML 5 tests – our preliminary tests show it to be much faster than leading competitive offerings. Additionally, while the company provided a full demo of the BB10 OS, we believe the details around Hub, Flow, Peek, and Balance were largely known. BlackBerry believes its Keyboard functionality will be a key differentiator, with the capability to ‘flick’ entire words to the screen with a single thumb. It can also recognize multiple languages within a single text or email.”
She continued, adding that the new BBM, BlackBerry Remember, Story Maker and enhanced camera functionality are all compelling features that will draw attention to the new platform.
Jankowski reiterated a Buy rating on BlackBerry shares with a $19 price target.