RIM's Do-Or-Die Christmas: Crucial Launches For Bold, Storm (RIMM)

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion’s (RIMM) stock has been clobbered: Shares are down 65% since mid-summer. But RIM has two massive product launches on tap. If the products arrive in time for the holidays, Citi analyst Jim Suva thinks shares will jump 20% — and possibly more, longer-term. If they don’t hit stores in the next 30-45 days, however, shares should drop more.

Specifically, RIM is readying its 3G ‘Bold’ to sell at AT&T (T), the biggest U.S. wireless carrier, and prepping its touchscreen, iPhone-lookalike Storm (pictured) to sell at no. 2 Verizon Wireless.

Neither product’s launch date has been announced yet, and Suva notes today that investors are “unsure” if the phones will launch in “time/scale for holidays” — a crucial sales period as they go up against Apple’s (AAPL) red-hot iPhone, the new Google (GOOG) G1 smartphone, and other gadgets.

Suva thinks there’s a 75% chance that the launches will happen on time, which could push shares up around 20% — approximately 10% upside each. How about longer term?

  • If the launches happen on time, consumer uptake is strong, and margins improve, shares could hit $80 — roughly 50% higher than now.
  • If the launches happen on time, consumer uptake is strong, and margins don’t improve, shares could hit $72.50 — roughly 37% higher than they’re at now.
  • If the launches happen on time, and consumer uptake is disappointing, shares could stay around $52.50.

Key term: “if the launches happen on time.” If not, Suva thinks shares will slump down to $45 or so — about 15% below today’s level.

Some good news: A leaked AT&T document purports that the Bold, at least, will launch next Monday, Oct. 27. But that’s not set in stone.

See Also:
Research In Motion Craters On Sales Scare, Stock Finally Attractive
RIM’s New Touchscreen BlackBerry Storm: Good Chance It’s A Hit
RIM: Here’s Our iPhone Clone, Finally

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.