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Bear Stearns Downgrades Research in Motion

Research in Motion (RIMM) says it may have to halt sales of its Blackberry device. Bear Stearns downgraded the stock to underperform.

Analyst Andrew Neff says he downgraded the stock from peer perform as a court ruling gives NTP leverage to exact onerous licensing terms. He says the ruling adds uncertainty surrounding RIMM's ability to license its technology.

Separately, Neff notes emerging competition, especially from Good Technology, Dell (DELL), and potentially from virtual private network-based handsets. He says valuation is lofty. As the NTP litigation will have little near-term impact, he maintains his earnings per share forecasts of 2 cents in the second quarter, 5 cents for fiscal year 2004 (February), and 30 cents for fiscal year 2005.

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