UPDATE 2-RIM shares rise after upgrade by influential analyst

Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:05pm EST
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* Jefferies raises on RIM to "buy" from "hold"

* Brokerage firm lifts price target to $19.50 from $13

* RIM shares surge to new 11-month high on Nasdaq (Adds details about apps, last two paragraphs)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion Ltd rose more than 6 percent after an influential analyst raised his rating on the stock on Friday, saying that RIM's new BlackBerry 10 operating system performed as well or better than rivals in recent tests.

Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek, who lifted his stock rating on RIM to "buy" from "hold," believes Wall Street is now underestimating the strength of RIM's financial performance for the coming quarters after the new devices debut on Jan. 30. He also lifted his price target on RIM to $19.50 from $13.

The move pushed RIM shares up 6 percent to $15.80 in morning trading on the Nasdaq, while its Toronto-listed shares rose 7 percent to C$15.72.

RIM hopes that its re-engineered line of touch-screen and keyboard devices will win back market share lost to rivals such as Apple Inc's iPhone and devices powered by Google Inc's market-leading Android operating system.

Misek, who has been skeptical for some time about RIM's odds of engineering a turnaround, said recent trials of BB10 test devices showed vast improvements over its existing smartphones.   Continued...