Thursday, February 17, 2011

Citigroup upgrades RIM to Buy; shares rise 4.2%

Even Jim Suva has turned bullish on RIM.  The Citigroup analyst had been once of the most bearish analysts covering the stock.  He has had a Sell rating on RIM since November 2009.  Yesterday, he upgraded RIM from Sell to Buy, and increased his target price from US$55 to $80.  As a result, the shares surged 4.2% in Toronto to close at C$67.25.

He cited Nokia's transition to WP 7, during which time carriers will be shifting their promotions away from the Finnish phonemaker to companies such as RIM.  This is the same reason that I cited for RIM to head higher in a February 8 article.  Juva dramatically increased his FY 2012 EPS estimate from $5.62 to $6.74.  

Analysts turning bullish on RIM

Many other analysts have recently also recently turned more bullish on RIM.  Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelbrum, another one of the most bearish analysts, upgraded RIM from Underweight to Equal Weight on Feb. 4, while Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha maintained a US$85 target price on Feb. 3.

RIMM is still a bargain

RIM was up another 2.1% today to close at C$68.66.  Despite the rally in recent days, RIM is still trading at less at 10.5 times forward earnings.  With continued growth of 20% plus in revenue and profits, the stock in a clear bargain compared to its peers.

I expect the stock to continue heading higher on analyst upgrades, and as we approach the launch of the PlayBook in March.  I expect the stock to reach C$75 within 1 month, and C$90 within the next 12 months.

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