BlackBerry maker RIM upgraded by Jefferies; shares rise

Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:38am EST
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TORONTO Nov 20 (Reuters) - Research in Motion Ltd, battling negative sentiment for months, received a boost on Tuesday, after a detractor raised his rating on the stock ahead of the launch of its make-or-break new line of BlackBerry 10 devices.

"Preliminary results from our quarterly handset survey indicate developed market carriers have a much more positive view of BB10 than we expected," said Jefferies analyst Peter Misek in a note to clients.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM , a one-time leader in the smartphone industry, has seen its stock slump in recent years as its aging line-up of smartphones lost ground to faster and snazzier devices from rivals. The company has bet its future on its new BB10 devices.

Earlier this month, RIM announced plans to launch the new line on Jan. 30. It hopes the smartphones, powered by a new BlackBerry 10 operating system, will help claw back the market share it lost in recent years to Apple's iPhone and devices that run on Google Inc's Android operating system.

Misek, who doubled his price target on shares of RIM to $10 from $5, also raised his rating on the stock to "hold" from "underperform." He said he was surprised by the strongly positive initial feedback on BB10 from carriers.

Following the upgrade, RIM shares rose 3.8 percent to $9.95 in premarket trade in the United States. Its stock is still more than 90 percent below its all-time high of over $148, touched in 2008. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)