BlackBerry Z10 Inventories Piling Up In UK, Says Analyst
Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, who lately has been determinedly bearish on BlackBerry shares, today found another reason for concern, asserting that U.K inventory levels of the Z10 touch-screen BB10-based smartphones are “already too high,” and that inventory levels in Canada are “quickly approaching typically targeted levels.”
“Our checks indicate that as sell-through run-rates for the Z10 have declined meaningfully in the weeks following launch, we believe carriers and third-party retailers in the U.K. are already well above typically targeted inventory levels,” he writes. “Canadian carrier stores and retailers also appear to be rapidly approaching targeted levels, in our view.”
Faucette notes that U.K. retailers have begun discounting the Z10. He points out that Carphone Warehouse last week started offering the Z10 at lower prices on the Three and Vodafone networks.
Retailer Phones 4U likewise has reduce the price of the phone for Vodafone customers, he adds.
“We are concerned that such early pricing action combined with high inventory levels may ultimately push the Z10 down market with meaningful negative impact to gross margins,” he writes.
The analyst remains a skeptic about the prospects for the Z10 and the still pending QWERTY keyboard-based Q10 – to return the company to the black.
“We continue to believe that the company likely shipped roughly 275,000 to 325,000 Z10s in the February quarter for the U.K. and Canadian markets,” he writes. “Further, we estimate that the company is likely to ship one to two million units in the May quarter, with sell-through likely well below that figure. As such, we believe optimism around BBRY is overdone at current levels and would remain sellers.”