RIM shares rise on Jefferies upgrade

Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:21am EST
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TORONTO Jan 18 (Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion Ltd surged more than 6 percent on Friday, after Jefferies Group boosted its rating and price target on the company days ahead of the crucial launch of a line of smartphones powered by the company's new BlackBerry 10 software.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who lifted his stock rating on RIM to "buy" from "hold", believes that current Wall Street expectations on RIM's results for coming months are too low in light of the Jan. 30 launch of BlackBerry 10 devices.

RIM hopes that the new line of touch-screen and keyboard devices will revive its fortunes and help it win back market share lost to rivals like Apple Inc's iPhone and devices powered by Google Inc's market-leading Android operating system.

"Our checks indicate that the carriers have agreed to volume commitments for the first two quarters post-launch," said Misek, who also boosted his price target on the stock to $19.50 from $13.

Shares in RIM, which fell as low as $6.22 in September, have more than doubled in value over the last four months as the BlackBerry 10 launch approaches. The stock closed at $14.91 on Thursday on the Nasdaq.

RIM shares rose more than 6 percent to $15.90 in trading before the morning bell in the United States, following the upgrade. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)