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Old 08-22-2007, 09:12 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Company 'undervalued,' Goldman Sachs says...

Shares of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. moved higher yesterday after another analyst said the company is undervalued at its current share price and boosted his outlook for RIM's subscriber growth.

"We believe that investors do not give RIM credit for the lifetime value of the services contract that RIM receives per subscriber," Goldman Sachs analyst Brantley Thompson wrote in a recent note to clients.

RIM shares jumped $15.47, or seven per cent, to $235.99 on Nasdaq. On the Toronto Stock Exchange, they rose $5.33, or 6.9 per cent, to $82.90

At those prices, the shares are still relatively cheap compared with Thompson's 12-month price target of $295 for the Nasdaq-listed shares.

Thompson also said he was raising RIM's subscriber estimates to 1.375 million from 1.350 million for the next quarter and cited "very strong store checks in the U.S. retail channel" as one of his reasons.
"In addition, churn is much lower for RIM than other device companies, reducing the acquisition cost per subscriber and providing healthier profit levels," he wrote. (Churn is a term used to describe customer turnover.)

RIM's BlackBerry line of smartphones has become a staple for lawyers, politicians, executives and other professionals, but has yet to reach similar acceptance levels in the broader consumer market.
As the company moves to capture those consumers, its BlackBerry is expected to butt heads with Apple's recently released iPhone. The iPhone, laden with multimedia features, is aimed at the high-end consumer, rather than the mostly corporate users who buy the BlackBerry.

RIM first released a multimedia-heavy device, the BlackBerry Pearl, last September.

The Goldman analyst's note, dated Sunday, came about a week after UBS upgraded the stock for similar reasons.

"Our recent U.S. retail checks indicate continued solid demand, while in Europe RIM has expanded its distribution ... which we believe is the right strategic move as the company expands more aggressively into the consumer market," UBS analyst Jeffrey Fan wrote on Aug. 13.
He raised his target price to $280 from $235.