NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) saw its price target increased by Citigroup (C) to $8 from $4 in a note published Wednesday. Shares of Blackberry were down 1.25% to $9.24 in early market trading Wednesday.
The increase comes ahead of BlackBerry's March 28 earnings report.
Citigroup expects the number of smartphones sold to drop to 1.6 million from the previous quarter's 1.9 million. However, they also expect a jump to 2.5 million phones sold once the first shipment of Foxconn phones hits Indonesia in April.
"We expect [fourth quarter] earnings to show a continued deterioration of the business especially in services while declines in the device business should begin to level off. We estimate device shipments bottoming at 1.6M units in the Feb quarter down from 1.9M in November before shooting back up to 2.5M in May on the launch of the first wave of Foxconn phones into Indonesia," the note said.
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TheStreet Ratings team rates BLACKBERRY LTD as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate BLACKBERRY LTD (BBRY) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- BLACKBERRY LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, BLACKBERRY LTD swung to a loss, reporting -$1.20 versus $2.24 in the prior year.
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Computers & Peripherals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 49000.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $9.00 million to -$4,401.00 million.
- Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, BLACKBERRY LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$81.00 million or 108.45% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 41.13%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 28000.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: BBRY Ratings Report