Goldman Calls BlackBerry (BBRY) Z10 Launch 'Disappointing'; Cuts to Neutral

March 25, 2013 6:25 AM EDT
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Goldman Sachs is removing BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY) from its Americas Buy List, cutting its rating to Neutral on Monday. The firm moved its 12-month price target from $19 to $17.

Goldman says it sill sees BlackBerry having a binary outcoming which depends on the success of its BB10 launch and ability to reverse its declining market share trajectory. The firm cut its probably of success outlook for BB10 by 10 points to 20 percent following the "disappointing" launch of BlackBerry's Z10 at AT&T (NYSE: T) late last week.

"Retail checks at over 20 store locations since March 22, including at AT&T, Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), and Radio Shack (NYSE: RSH), revealed a surprising lack of marketing support and poor positioning of the product," Goldman noted.

Goldman said it "would watch the other 2 launches (Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and T-Mobile) closely before drawing conclusions on the ultimate success of BB10 and BlackBerry. One difference we’re already aware of is that Verizon has an exclusive on the white BB10, which could imply Verizon would put more marketing dollars behind it than AT&T did."

Limited advertising on the product at launch was also seen.

Goldman thinks sales at most locations were about 10 unit per day, though many were observed to sell just 2 or 3 units per day. Stores were receiving anywhere from 5 to 15 units at launch.

Shares of BlackBerry are down about 5.5 percent Monday morning.

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on BlackBerry click here. For more ratings news on BlackBerry click here.

Shares of BlackBerry closed at $14.91 yesterday.

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