RIM up 5% with BB7 Announcement but Analysts Not Buying in, Are they Right?

BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 smartphones

The world of BlackBerry definitely has been shaken up today with the official unveiling of 3 new BlackBerry smartphones all belonging to the Torch family- Torch 9810, 9860 and 9850. News outlets are busy getting the news out while analysts are chiming in, in what will be RIM’s largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in company history. Today’s announcement has lead to RIM climbing up roughly 5% in stocks and has enthusiasts like myself jumping for joy because at last, new devices are finally landing. As optimizing as it sounds analysts are not buying, reports the WSJ.

BlackBerry Torch 9810

Some analysts don’t believe the launch of a revamped operating system in BB7 on new devices is enough to keep RIM afloat. My question is, are they right? Let’s take a look at what they have to say.

J.P. Morgan zeroed in on the dark lining in the silver cloud — namely, what seems to be an ongoing problem delivering new BlackBerry models:

AT&T indicated in their press release today that they will be offering the 9810 in August and the 9860 and 9900 “later this year.” RIMM had originally said on their last earnings call that BB OS7 products would launch very late in the quarter ending in August. While we had assumed this was referring to the 9900 announced way back in May we now assume that RIMM was referring to the 9810 Torch update. In our opinion, further delay of the 9900 at AT&T is an incremental negative which underscores the difficulty RIMM is having delivering product.

Caris analysts echo this concern:

Timing is for carriers to start launching late August (e.g., AT&T issued a parallel release), which is in line with most recent estimates but still painfully late after having been delayed multiple times earlier this summer and only representing RIMM’s first handset refresh in over a YEAR.

We do continue to see meaningful setup for a rebound in BB units from15mm in its Nov-qtr, driven by carriers restocking after a dearth of new product and our belief enough customer appetite still exists for “anything” resembling a refresh of RIMM’s unique niche products.

This said, with BB 7 still only evolutionary before more critical NEXT generation dual-core “super-phones” targeted to start launching early CY12 (migrating to new multitasking QNX OS as its long-overdue rewrite of the core BlackBerry OS), we wouldn’t expect more than a couple quarters of upgrade before new phone execution matter again….keeping risk high.

MKM Partners was generally dismissive:

Long‐term implications: Not much. We don’t think new Bolds and Torches with incrementally enhanced browsers will turn the ship around at RIMM. The company needs to make a big splash with the QNX OS and new form factors next year. While 2QFY12 numbers could be strong based on sell‐in, there is the risk that sell‐through numbers in 3QFY12 (November) will disappoint.
Barclays Capital was a little more excited:

Overall, we believe this announcement should calm investor concerns of another mis-execution on the launch, providing incremental visibility into the company’s full year FY12 guidance range of $5.25-$6.00. On track execution towards the mid point of RIM’s full year FY12 EPS guidance leaves RIM currently trading at low 4x levels.