Pacific Crest’s James Faucette asserts that demand is slipping for the vaunted Motorola (MOT) RAZR cell phone. “Our most recent checks indicate that the RAZR’s reign as the top-selling phone in the United States may have begun to fade quite considerably in the past few weeks of the holiday selling season,” he wrote in a research note today. And he adds that “in Western Europe, the RAZR also seemed to fade late in December, particularly for post-paid contracts.”
Faucette reports that the RAZR is showing “the greatest incremental weakness that we have seen in our checks since the product was introduced more than two years ago.” He warns that “Motorola may have more excess channel inventory to work down in [the first quarter] than it has had in previous years.”
Meanwhile, he notes that the KRZR “continues to languish” in the U.S., while doing better in Europe thanks to “more aggressive subsidies.”
Faucette trimmed his 2007 revenue forecast for the company to $46.58 billion from $46.78 billion; he trimmed his EPS estimate to $1.47 from $1.58. “The primary drivers of our reduced estimates are a lower handset ASP assumption and lower expectations for margin improvement,” he wrote.
And he warns that further estimate cuts could be required. “Given what we believe is a slowing handset market in developed markets in general and a slowdown in the RAZR in particular, we believe there is risk of further downside to our new 2007 estimates.”
Motorola today is up 24 cents at $20.80.