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>  Analysts say RIM ripe for takeover
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Red Squirrel
Posted: Jun 21 2011, 08:40 PM
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Funny, I was thinking the same thing. I can totally see Google or some other company involved in handhelds taking it over. Sadly, it would be another CAnadian company down the drain. I kinda hoped the Playbook would have done well but it pretty much flopped. I don't know why, it is better than the iPad, but Apple has fanbois that Rim does not have.


Research In Motion Ltd. has lost so much value that an acquirer could pay a 50 per cent premium and still buy the BlackBerry maker for a lower earnings multiple than any company in the industry.

RIM, once worth $83 billion U.S, fell more than 80 per cent from its record three years ago as Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android platform siphoned off smartphone customers.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company — which plunged last week after saying quarterly sales may drop for the first time in nine years — closed Monday at $25.89 a share, or 4.7 times earnings next year.

Tuesday, RIM climbed 10.3 per cent to $28.55 in U.S. composite trading, the biggest gain in 18 months. The advance added about $1.4 billion to the RIM’s market value.

While Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s co-chief executive officers, said last week that their commitment to RIM is “stronger than ever,” the company is attractive to potential suitors.

It may now attract Microsoft Corp. and Dell Inc., BMO Harris Private Banking said. A buyer would get a smartphone maker that is still dominant among corporate clients, offers greater security with its own e-mail servers and generates more free cash versus its market value than any of its rivals.

Paying $40 a share still values RIM at a discount to comparable companies in the industry.

“Given how significant the deterioration of the stock price has been, that alone will cause interest,” said Paul Taylor, who oversees $14.5 billion, including RIM shares, as chief investment officer at BMO Harris in Toronto.

“RIM still has meaningful market share in the U.S. and meaningful market share internationally, and RIM has an iconic brand,” Taylor reported.

“It’s not hard to envision a stock price that’s somewhere between $40 and $50 a share” in an acquisition, he said.

Tenille Kennedy, a spokeswoman at RIM, declined to comment.

Since peaking in June 2008, RIM’s shareholders lost almost $70 billion, leaving it with a market capitalization of $13.6 billion yesterday. The 82 per cent decline was the biggest among communications-equipment providers worth at least $10 billion in the past three years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Over that span, Cupertino, California-based Apple advanced 74 per cent to become the world’s most valuable technology company, with a market capitalization of $292 billion.

RIM, which slumped 55 per cent this year alone through Monday, sells for less than five times its per-share earnings of $5.49 in its fiscal year ending February 2013, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

HTC Corp., the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based maker of handsets using Android and Microsoft operating systems, trades at about nine times profit, while Apple is valued at 11 times earnings next year, the data show.

Espoo, Finland-based Nokia Oyj, which has fallen 48 per cent this year on concern it’s also losing share of smartphone sales, trades at 14.4 times next year’s profit.

The company, which is losing out as consumers spurn its aging models for iPhones and handsets running Android software, hasn’t introduced a major new BlackBerry since August.

Bloomberg News
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