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BlackBerry will 'under-perform' beneath the sheets, says Wall St bod

Spreadsheets, obviously: Shares dip ahead of mobe maker's latest figures

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BlackBerry shares fell more than four per cent yesterday after its stock rating was cut by one analyst to “underperform” from "market perform".

The blow comes just a week before the mobile-maker's latest earnings report is due.

Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu said he expected to be disappointed by the ailing smartphone firm’s results, despite the fact that other beancounters are anticipating a decent set of financial figures and have upgraded the stock, Reuters reported.

"The initial enthusiasm that we observed for BlackBerry 10 devices now appears to be waning," Ferragu said in a note to clients.

He cut his price target on BlackBerry shares to $10 from $15.

Stocks dropped 4.44 per cent to $14.18 in trading yesterday, despite the fact that analysts, such as Societe Generale’s Andy Perkins, have been more positive about version 10 of BlackBerry's smartphone operating system.

Perkins recommended last week that investors buy the stock, upgrading it from a “sell” rating, and said distribution channel checks showed strong sales for BlackBerry units. Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets said it expects shipments of four million BB10 devices in the current quarter, up from a previous estimate of three million.

The QNX-powered BlackBerry OS 10, and the new Z10 and Q10 hardware running it, are the company’s last-ditch efforts to revive its flagging fortunes, after repeated outages of its online messaging service and the growing popularity of Apple and Android devices decimated its market share. ®

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