Updated from 11:34 a.m. EST to provide additional analyst comments regarding product lines in the fourth paragraph.WATERLOO, Ontario ( TheStreet) - Thursday's third-quarter conference call from Research in Motion ( RIMM) marked a stark change in the tone from the embattled handset maker, which may be signaling for outside help. The Canadian firm, which has been rocked by delayed product launches and increasingly fierce competition from Apple ( AAPL) and Google ( GOOG), offered up weak outlook after market close on Thursday.
RIM announced, however, that it will delay the launch of BlackBerry 10 (formerly QNX, and BBX) phones until the "latter part of 2012", representing yet another blow for the company. RIM has been losing market share to Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system, with U.S. revenues declining in the third quarter. Despite its challenges, RIM's still worthy of investor attention, according to Sanford Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu. "As management's current denial position is getting less and less tenable and as they committed yesterday to explore multiple strategic opportunities, we see too much upside risk to recommend a short position to investors and maintain our market-perform rating," he explained, in a note released on Friday. Sanford Bernstein has a $16 price target on RIM's shares. Ferragu's not alone in seeing some light amidst the RIM gloom. Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors, for example, has purchased a 1.4 million share stake in the company, as he hopes "they've
RIM seen the worst." Cooperman noted RIM's vast intellectual property as part of the investment thesis. Interested in more on RIM? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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