Shares of BlackBerry slipped about 8 percent on Thursday as analysts
questioned whether the handset maker's turnaround plan would succeed in
the brutally competitive smartphone market.
Discounting of the Z10 (Review I Pictures),
its recent handset meant to take on the likes of Apple Inc's iPhone and
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy line, has also raised concerns,
according to one trader.
BlackBerry launched its latest handsets
based on its much delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system (Review) in January, but
they started selling in the United States only in March.
have been skeptical about the company's prospects of regaining its lost
glory and stealing back market share in the U.S. market. The stock has
lost a quarter of its value since hitting a 52-week high in January.
recent optimism surrounding the ability of the new BlackBerry 10
products to get BlackBerry back to long-term profitability will
ultimately prove unwarranted," Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette
wrote in a research note.
"We see a combination of market
maturity, more aggressive pricing from competitors and smaller resources
than those of competing ecosystems frustrating the comeback attempt,"
added the analyst, who has an "underperform" rating on the stock.
followed a Credit Suisse note, which suggested that the surprisingly
strong gross margins that BlackBerry reported last month may have been
driven more by lower amortization levels and less by operational
The weakness in BlackBerry came amid the backdrop of
a broad selloff in the technology sector, led by Microsoft Corp and
Hewlett-Packard Co, after an influential tech research firm said
personal computer sales plunged the most in two decades.
on the stock were busy as well, with 107,000 puts and 87,000 calls
traded so far on Thursday afternoon, according to options analytics firm
The weekly $13.50, $14 and $14.50 strike puts
expiring on Friday after the close are among the most active contracts
in BlackBerry, on concerns that the recent drop in the stock will
continue, WhatsTrading.com options strategist Frederic Ruffy said.
shares were down at C$13.84 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its
Nasdaq-listed shares were down 7.8 percent at $13.53 in afternoon
© Thomson Reuters 2013