Share of the Research in Motion dove on Thursday, one day after the highly-anticipated launch of its BlackBerry 10 devices and operating system, as several analysts downgraded the stock and investors were disappointed the new phones would not go on sale in the United States until March.
RIM, which will soon be named BlackBerry, sank 8.44 per cent to C$12.69 midmorning on Toronto's S&P/TSX composite index, extending a near-12-per cent decline notched in the previous session.
"For the last two months, there's been a lot of expectation built into RIM stock about the launch of BlackBerry 10. The announcement just didn't quite live up to what people were expecting," said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates, characterizing the weak stock performance.
The delay in sales to the U.S. was a “very big disappointment," added Brough.
On Wednesday, company boss Thorsten Heins unveiled two new smartphones running RIM’s new operating system, which altogether had been for months viewed as make-or-break in RIM’s comeback effort against aggressive and bigger rivals. Heins also announced the company's corporate name would be changed to BlackBerry.
Still, the elaborate global launch was not enough to impress Wall Street analysts, with several downgrading the stock, according to a Reuters report on Thursday.
"Despite recent enthusiasm for RIM's new BB10 devices, we see limited scope for traction in the hypercompetitive smartphone market," the news agency quoted Credit Suisse analysts as saying in a research note.
The analysts said RIM faces an uphill struggle in terms of gaining smartphone market share, and downgraded the stock to "underperform" from "neutral."
RIM's weakness helped drag down the broader tech sector by 1.7 per cent. The composite index was off some 90 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 12,703.59.