Morgan Stanley Cools on BlackBerry Maker RIM

By Josh Long Comments
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Research in Motion said it's committed to a turnaround following a report from a UK newspaper that the BlackBerry maker is considering splitting up its businesses, but more financial analysts are warning that the Canadian company is in big trouble.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded RIM's shares to the equivalent of a "sell" rating, The Globe and Mail reported.

“We believe the fundamental story at RIM is essentially broken," the newspaper quoted Morgan Stanley as stating.

Over the weekend, as noted by Bloomberg News, the Sunday Times reported that RIM was considering selling its handset manufacturing unit or a stake in the entire company.

But RIM, which has retained bankers to evaluate its strategic options, appeared to deny that report.

"As [chief executive Thorsten Heins] said on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call, 'We believe the best way to drive value for our stakeholders is to execute on our plan to turn the company around.' This remains true," a company spokesperson told The Financial Post.

RIM will report its quarterly earnings on Thursday and previously warned that it anticipated facing continuing challenging times in the near-term future. Analysts are becoming increasingly doubtful about its future.

"The only way RIM remains a viable entity is at a fraction of its current size, a transformation that erases much of its earnings power," Morgan Stanley analysts said, according to The Globe and Mail.

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