Canaccord increases February quarter Z10 sales estimate
Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley is admitting today he went a little too far in drastically slashing his sales forecasts two weeks ago for the BlackBerry Z10.
Mr. Walkley was predicting sales of nearly two million devices until he dropped that forecast to just 300,000 on Feb. 19.
“Given our store surveys indicated modest Z10 sales in the U.K. and Canada with limited initial inventory levels, we admittedly reduced our February quarter sell-in estimates too low for the first month of the Z10 launch,” Mr. Walkley said in a research note today.
“With the Z10 launching in additional markets the last weeks of February, we have increased our February quarter BB10 smartphone sell-in estimate from 300K to 800K units,” he said.
He believes carrier support for BlackBerry 10 in the U.S. is modest, pointing to Sprint’s decision to launch only the Q10 device, and T-Mobile intentions to only to sell the Z10. BlackBerry generally sells phones to carriers, who then sell the devices through their own retail chains.
“Our follow-up surveys have indicated steady but modest sales levels for the Z10. With new BB10 smartphones launching in the U.S. only in mid-March or later at subsidized prices no better than competing high-end Apple/Samsung smartphones, combined with our expectations for the Galaxy S IV to launch at a similar time frame in the U.S. market, we anticipate BlackBerry will struggle to reclaim high-end smartphone market share,” he said.
He believes supplies of the devices improved throughout February, which should help boost sales and lead to BlackBerry reporting a fiscal 2013 loss per share of $1.06 – narrower than his last forecast of $1.18. He left his fiscal 2014 and 2015 estimates unchanged.