Lehman Ups Research In Motion to 'Overweight'

Analyst Jeffrey Kvaal says a boost in wireless subscriptions is driving growth for the device maker

Lehman Brothers upgraded Research In Motion (RIMM ) to overweight from equal-weight.

Analyst Jeffrey Kvaal says carriers--AT&T Wireless, Nextel, Verizon Wireless, and others -- now are adding subscribers in earnest; management believes the BlackBerry subscriber base could reach one million by May 2004. He expects breakeven in fourth-quarter fiscal 2004 (Feb.).

Kvaal anticipates several new internally developed devices, which are likely to be at lower cost, and higher margin. He sees several additional carrier distribution deals likely targeting Japan's KDDI, China Unicom, and Korean carriers, now that its CDMA device has been developed. Kvaal cut the 25 cents fiscal 2004 earnings per share estimate to 21 cents, and raised the 24 cents fiscal 2005 estimate to 30 cents. He also upped his target to $22.

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