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Is RIM (RIMM) Like Apple (AAPL) in 1997?

November 29, 2011 11:52 AM EST
The bottom calls on struggling BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) have been plentiful as of late. However, one call Tuesday could go down as the ultimate putting-my-neck-on-the-line call.

On CNBC early this morning, Laszlo Birinyi of Birinyi Associates called RIM one of his top picks for 2012. He explained the stock is beaten down, and has a solid brand.

Going further, Mr. Birinyi compared RIM today to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) in 1997. In 1997, he went on Louis Ruckhauser's show and named Apple his top pick for 1998. The stock was at $7 then. We all know what has happened since.

With all signs pointing to RIM's ship sinking fast, Mr. Birinyi's call on the stock is bold to say the least. To compare the stock to Apple is even bolder. All the other calls on RIM have been of the 'the bad news is priced in' and 'the sum of the parts' variety. Now a turnaround of Apple magnitude?

While Mr. Birinyi may be right that the stock recovers from current levels, the RIMM-like-AAPL comparison does not seem centered in reality. Nonetheless, investors are liking the call; shares are up 8.6 percent to $17.90.

Mr. Birinyi's other top picks for 2012 include BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), People’s Bank of Connecticut (Nasdaq: PBCT), GM (NYSE: GM), Hermes.

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