BlackBerry targeted by short sellers as market awaits results

Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:13am EDT
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* Nasdaq data shows spike in short positions in BlackBerry

* Short positions have more than doubled from year-ago level

* BlackBerry to announce quarterly results on Thursday

* Any positive news on Z10 would raise odds of short squeeze

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, March 26 (Reuters) - BlackBerry's share price has more than doubled over the last six months as buzz around its new smartphones has boosted investor confidence, but some traders are betting big that talk of a turnaround is over-hyped.

Nasdaq data released on Tuesday shows that short interest in the stock is at record levels and has more than doubled over the course of the last year.

With BlackBerry due to report quarterly results in two days, giving investors their first official clues on demand for its new Z10 touchscreen device, that buildup of bearish bets could send the stock price surging if the company delivers a positive surprise.

BlackBerry, a one-time pioneer in the smartphone market, hopes the device - powered by its new BlackBerry 10 operating system - and other devices soon to follow will turn its fortunes around and help it to win back market share in an ultra-competitive sector. But many traders are clearly unconvinced.   Continued...