RIM shares climb as investors bet on new BlackBerry

Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:13pm EST
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By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion rallied on Friday as investors positioned themselves ahead of the launch of its new make-or-break BlackBerry 10 smartphones at the end of the month.

Morningstar analyst Brian Colello did not see any one news story driving the stock, which climbed steadily through much of the day. The new phones are to be formally unveiled on January 30.

"The stock has been extremely volatile, based on BlackBerry 10 rumors and the potential for success in the market," said Colello.

Several blog posts published on Friday showed purportedly leaked photos of what could be the new phones, and a number of tech sites confirmed that Sprint Nextel Corp would carry BlackBerry 10.

"Sprint plans to bring BlackBerry 10 to our customers later this year. We will share more details soon," Mark Elliot, a spokesman for the U.S. carrier, said in an email.

Earlier this week, executives at Verizon Communications, AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA all confirmed they would carry the smartphones, and said they are looking forward to the new devices.

"There are, I think, good indications that they're going to get a seat at all the tables that matter," said IDC analyst John Jackson, who called carrier support "necessary, but not sufficient" to ensure the success of BlackBerry 10.

Throughout the autumn of 2012, RIM's stock rose as investors grew more optimistic about BlackBerry 10. Morningstar's Colello said the market went from pricing in no chance of success, to betting on at least some chance of success for the new products.   Continued...

The exterior of one of the Research In Motion Limited (RIM) buildings is seen in Waterloo July 10, 2012. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese