Research In Motion (RIMM) Ltd. fell the most in about two weeks after Jefferies & Co. said the company probably won’t release BlackBerry 10 smartphones until March, missing the fiscal fourth quarter.
That delay would push back the timing of any BB10 licensing deals with other companies until after the software’s release, Peter Misek, a Jefferies analyst, said in a research note today. Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM’s fiscal year ends Feb. 28.
RIM fell 5.3 percent to $7.80 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Sept. 21. The shares have dropped 46 percent this year.
RIM is counting on BB10 to revive sales growth and stop market share losses to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. While RIM Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben said in July that BB10 would debut in some markets in January, the company has since stuck to the timing of a release in the first calendar quarter of 2013.
“The business uncertainty means parties are unlikely to acquire or license from RIM until BB10 launches,” Misek said. He has the equivalent of a sell rating on the stock.
Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins reiterated the first-quarter timing on a conference call with analysts last month and said that he’s met with CEOs at various organizations over the past several months to discuss software licensing and partnerships.
Nick Manning, a RIM spokesman, said the company is on target to start delivering BB10 phones in the first calendar quarter.
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