Analysts Split on RIMM


Ahead of Research in Motion’s earnings report Thursday, UBS analyst Maynard Um raised the price target on the BlackBerry-maker to $110 from $97. Piper Jaffray analyst T. Michael Walkley wasn’t as confident about the quarter, and maintained a target price of $82 while lowering his fiscal 2007 earnings-per-share estimate.

“Based on our analysis, we believe we are at the onset of growth across the key market segments,” wrote UBS’s Um in a report Monday. “We believe RIM continues to enjoy a sizeable time advantage over its competitors, particularly in the high-end enterprise segment.”

The UBS analyst’s fiscal 2007 earnings-per-share estimate on RIM is $3.52. He also introduced a fiscal 2008 earnings estimate of $4.37 per share. He said both estimates are likely conservative.

Piper Jaffray’s outlook for the quarter wasn’t as bright. In a report Monday, Walkley lowered his net subscriber estimate for the company to 760,000 from 850,000 for the first-quarter of fiscal 2007. Based on this, he also lowered his fiscal 2007 earnings-per-share estimate on RIM to $3.26 from $3.33, and maintained a fiscal 2008 estimate of $3.56.

“We believe with additional launches of the 8700 and the potential pent-up demand for Blackberry solutions will lead to stronger trends for RIM, but we believe this recovery may not happen as quickly as our previous May quarter estimates,” said Walkley.

UBS rates RIM shares “buy” while Piper Jaffray rates the shares “market perform.”