Analysts comment on RIM shake up


After Research in Motion (RIMM) announced Thorsten Heins as its new CEO, market analysts seemed to be looking for the company’s next steps.

Tech analyst Jeff Kagan noted that with now former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis’s stepping down was an incredible move, he noted that “we know very little about Heins, whether or not he has what it takes.”

Analysts remarked that the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook tablet has not been able to remain relevant against new smartphone makers.

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“While RIM’s new CEO, Thorsten Heins, has indicated he remains focused on enhancing the execution of the company’s current operations, the change in leadership inevitably opens up the possibility that RIM may now be more receptive to alternative strategic options, such as licensing software to other device manufacturers or exploring buy-out offers,” commented Frost & Sullivan mobile and wireless global research director, Brent Iadarola.

Macquarie Capital’s analysts added that they expect a decision not to put the company up for sale may mean a long and risky turnaround process. The firm pointed that while significant upside potential based on asset values may exist, a clear and powerful new strategic vision must be articulated quickly to preserve and unlock value.

Macquarie Capital was neutral on RIM’s stock, while Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley reiterated his hold rating and $15 price target on the company.

“While this change in management might positively impact RIM’s execution, we maintain our hold rating. With competing OEMs introducing high-end smartphone products on more established software ecosystems and low-cost Android products pressuring RIM’s international sales, we believe sales and earnings will decline,” Walkley explained. “While the change in management might reinvigorate the employee base, improve execution, or even increase interest from potential acquirers, we maintain our belief the new BB 10 OS will not stem ongoing market share losses to Android and iOS.”

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