Research in Motion may have hired Goldman Sachs to explore strategic alternatives, according to social media chatter.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Speculation has crept up again that Research In Motion(:RIMM) could be looking for buyers, as the company tries to soothe shareholders over its floundering stock price.

On Thursday, chatter popped on Twitter that the Waterloo, Ontario-based company has hired Goldman Sachs(:GS) to consider "strategic alternatives."

Over the past year, RIM shares have lost 75% of their value, compared with competitors Apple(:AAPL) and Google(:GOOG), which are up 22.1% and 1.9%, respectively, according to Google Finance.

There has been speculation before that RIM could be a candidate for a takeover, with Amazon(:AMZN), Microsoft(:MSFT) and Nokia(:NOK) mentioned as potential buyers of the handset maker. Microsoft and Nokia were cited as potentially putting together a joint bid for the company, although that has not materialized.

Morningstar analyst Michael Holt put out a research note earlier this week voicing his skepticism about an acquisition, due to several roadblocks.

Holt mentioned that Microsoft has already picked a software strategy, and would not be interested in RIM's QNX-based assets at this point. He said that Amazon and RIM's customer bases do not match, due to the former's content focus and the latter's hardware focus.

"We believe RIM should entertain all options at this point, given the serious challenges facing the firm, but there is little evidence to suggest RIM's board is open to offers at this point in time," Holt wrote in his note. He has a $14 fair value on RIM.

Research In Motion and Goldman Sachs could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

RIM shares were higher Thursday, up 3.6% to $16.17.

Interested in more on RIM? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

The Street's rating system rates RIM at hold.

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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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