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BlackBerry Disputes Reports of High Z10 Return Rates

By Evan Niu, CFA - Apr 12, 2013 at 11:24AM

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Calls for SEC and Canada authorities to investigate the report from research and investment firm.

Shares of BlackBerry (BB 2.96%) fell 8% yesterday following reports that the company's new Z10 flagship smartphone was seeing unusually high return rates. The company fired back this morning, disputing the findings of an investment firm's report and saying it would seek an SEC review of the report.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday cited a report from Detwiler Fenton that claimed that Z10 returns were outnumbering sales in the U.S., a scenario that Detwiler has "never seen before." The WSJ also noted a separate report from ITG saying that the Z10 launch began poorly and has "weakened significantly." The Z10 launched in the U.S. in late March.

BlackBerry issued a press release today disputing what it calls "false reports on return rates." The company is requesting that regulators in both the U.S. and Canada investigate the "false and misleading report" about retail return rates, saying that sales of the Z10 are meeting expectations. CEO Thorsten Heins said retail and carrier data show that customers are satisfied with the Z10, and return rates are at or below its forecasts and in line with the broader industry.

The company said that Detwiler Fenton would not share its report or methodology with BlackBerry, even after the smartphone maker disputed the findings.


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