BlackBerry maker stages comeback

2012-11-23 10:26

Toronto - Shares of Research In Motion surged more than 15% in Toronto on Thursday on rising optimism about its soon-to-be-launched BlackBerry 10 devices, the company's response to Apple's iPhone and to Android-based smartphones.

National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson boosted his price target on RIM shares to $15 from $12. He said he believes there is more money to be made in the stock ahead of the early 2013 launch of RIM's make-or-break new line of devices.

It was the second vote of confidence this week for the Canadian company, which has struggled to compete with the iPhone and with devices running on Google's market-leading Android operating system.

On Tuesday, Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek, who has been one of RIM's most influential critics, raised his rating and price target on the stock.

RIM shares climbed to their highest level since May on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday, rising C$1.55 to C$11.78 by early afternoon. The US market, where trade volumes usually top those in Toronto, was closed for Thanksgiving. 

Thompson, who has an "outperform" rating on RIM stock, said he raised his price target due partly to the "positive sentiment building in the industry" ahead of BB10's launch.

"The new management team is executing by maintaining the BlackBerry subscriber base, managing costs and cash, and seemingly readying a February 2013 BB10 global platform launch," he said in a note to clients.

Earlier this week, Misek said a favourable reaction from telecom carriers to the new devices and the BB10 operating system that runs them was behind his decision to lift his rating and price target on RIM.

The BlackBerry maker, a smartphone pioneer, hopes BB10 will rescue it from a prolonged slump. RIM shares peaked at over $148 in 2008 before diving more than 90%.

The stock is up more than 75% in the past two months as the launch date for the BB10 devices nears.

RIM promises its new devices will be faster and smoother than previous smartphones, and will have a large catalog of applications, which are crucial to the success of any new line of smartphones.   

Thompson said he now expects RIM to ship about 35.5 million devices in fiscal 2014, up from an earlier estimate of 31.6 million. RIM, whose sales slump has been particularly pronounced in North America, shipped 7.4 million devices in its most recent quarter, ended September 1.

RIM has said it plans to roll out a touchscreen version of its BB10 smartphone initially. Phones with the mini QWERTY keyboards that many long-time BlackBerry users rave about will come a few weeks later, while lower-end versions of both devices will be launched later in the year.

"The shipments boost reflects about one more month of BB10 product availability plus a little extra for the positive sentiment building in the industry from our discussions," Thompson said.

Analysts had expected the new devices to go on sale in March. But RIM said earlier this month it plans to launch them on January 30, leading many to speculate they will hit store shelves around mid-February.

Chief Executive Thorsten Heins told Reuters last week he is confident that the new BB10s will provide RIM with a framework for growth over the next decade.

Earlier this month, the new platform and devices won U..government security clearance, which would allow both US and Canadian government agencies to deploy the new smartphones as soon as they are available.


  • daleinn - 2012-11-23 10:52

    eish, here comes blackberry... already has 40% stake in Africa ...will grow its market share..

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-11-23 11:53

      here comes blackberry... there goes blackberry...

      gerald.king.589 - 2012-11-24 09:28

      No. Its more like black-bury. Their biggest wrong move was throwing exclusivity out the window. Heck any berry's more expensive than apples, sell it for less, you lose money.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-23 11:10

    BB sucks

      charlesbronson.bronson - 2012-11-23 11:31

      iPhone sucks more. Dictator phone

      Lucky - 2012-11-23 11:36

      apple a day? BB any day!! haha

      rlong1952 - 2012-11-23 12:20

      charlesbronsonbronson..... don't have an iPhone? Wow, jealousy makes you nasty. I find it so funny that all the Apple haters have never had an Apple product, I have had them all and Apple is a cut above the rest. So, put your pride in your pocket and get one, you won't regret it.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-11-23 13:18

      Saffa, the only thing where Apple is superior to Android is in price. Apple products are aimed at people with too much money and very little tech savvy. Fortunately for them, the world has an oversupply of fools.

      rlong1952 - 2012-11-23 14:14

      Wow, stirer, how come you know so much about me? Amazing, never met you but you have the gall to tell me I have no tech savvy. Ha ha you are so wrong. I have both android and Apple and there is no way that Android is better, absolutely no way. Sorry but you are wrong.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-11-23 14:19

      Saffa, the mere fact that you think Apple products are "a cut above the rest" proves my point. Technically, there is NOTHING that makes them superior. On the contrary, look at their maps app, etc. It's like buying brand name t-shirts. You pay a fortune for them (why? to be SEEN in a brand name?) but remove the 5c worth of paint for the logo and the t-shirt is made of the exact same material as any other, and worth very little.

  • wackidmaledu - 2012-11-23 12:40

    stil think they can beat Android nd Iphone????

  • andre.lombaard.566 - 2012-11-23 13:16

    Lets see....The new BB10 is AWESOME the seamless features and even phone design is top tech at the moment. The fanboys of other products like Android and Apple are just that...fanboys(Currently own iPhone 4s and loving it). What I do like, is that this is going to boost all smartphone tech to the next level. Apple and Android are already busy with new designs and better devices.

      Abdul Bassier Stegmann - 2012-11-25 22:14

      interesting though andre

  • sunith.varkey - 2012-11-23 23:38

    Only way to compete with iPhone and Android is to come up with something completely unique...

  • Abdul Bassier Stegmann - 2012-11-25 22:14

    i would like to see this.

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