Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) advised investors to sell BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM:US), citing escalating competition, as at least five other firms raised price estimates for the stock.
Goldman analyst Simona Jankowski cut her rating from “neutral” in a report today. The San Francisco-based analyst lowered the 12-month share-price estimate to $65 from $73, saying RIM likely lost customers to models that use Google Inc.’s Android software, such as Motorola Inc.’s Droid.
“RIM’s products will increasingly lose differentiation as the focus shifts from e-mail, where RIM leads all competitors (RIMM:US), to applications, where RIM lags both the iPhone and Android,” Jankowski said. “Our caution is driven by slowing enterprise demand, lower-end international sales (RIMM:US) and increased competitive pressures in the U.S.”
RIM reported fourth-quarter results yesterday and forecast first-quarter profit of at least $1.31 a share, exceeding the average Bloomberg estimate (RIMM:US). Citigroup Inc., BMO Capital, UBS AG, Credit Suisse and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC boosted share-price projections after the report.
Jankowski joins four other analysts (RIMM:US) with “sell” ratings on the stock, compared with 36 who rate RIM “buy” and 14 who say hold.
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