AP News

Ahead of the Bell: Research in Motion


NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Research in Motion Ltd. dropped more than 5 percent in premarket trading on Monday as an analyst said that its new Z10 Blackberry product is not doing as well in the U.S. as expected.

Research in Motion is a Canadian company that is in the process of changing its name to BlackBerry to emphasize that brand.

Jim Suva of Citi Investment Research said in a client note that the weekend launch of the Z10 at AT&T stores in the U.S. was not as successful as anticipated, given the strength of its initial launches in Europe and Canada last month.

The analyst said that his checks showed that there was "shocking low support" of the product by AT&T, with the company signing more people to Apple and Samsung products than to the Z10. The Blackberry device also didn't have a good placement in stores and most AT&T employees weren't even trained on the product, he added.

Suva said that less than 5 percent of AT&T stores nationwide were selling out of the Z10, even though most of the stores only received a dozen or two of the devices.

The analyst also followed up on the international launches of the Z10 in Europe and Canada and said that he's found that sales have dramatically slowed and that carriers are already shifting their promotional efforts to other products. Suva said that there's also an increase in customer returns, with people saying in part that they are returning the Z10 due to a lack of apps and lackluster battery performance.

"We believe the initial positive launch in Europe and Canada of the Z10 success is quickly deteriorating and future strong sell through is at risk," he wrote.

Suva kept a "Sell" rating and $6 price target.

Research in Motion's stock fell 77 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $14.18 about two hours before the market open.


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