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Canaccord slashes estimate of BB10 sales

TORONTO - Canaccord Genuity is slashing its estimate of BlackBerry BB10 smartphone shipments in February to just 300,000 units, a far cry from its earlier estimate of more than 1.75 million.

The equities research unit of Canaccord Financial Inc. (TSX:CF) says its global surveys show initial sales have been mixed for the BlackBerry Z10, with limited supply rather than overwhelming demand behind post-launch shortages at some stores.

Meanwhile, the delay of the phone's launch in the American market until mid-March or later — combined with expectations for the Galaxy S4 to launch in the U.S. around the same time — the firm says it has lowered sales expectation for not only the February quarter but also the rest of the fiscal year as well.

Canaccord, which reiterated its sell rating and a price target of $9 for BlackBerry stock, says it expects U.S. carriers to stock only modest levels of BB10s given the weaker consumer demand for the company's high-end smartphones.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, BlackBerry (TSX:BB) shares were up 53 cents at $14.76 in trading Tuesday morning.

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