RIM shares rally as optimism about new devices grows

Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:25pm EST
 

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion Ltd surged 17.3 percent in Toronto on Thursday on rising optimism around RIM's soon-to-be-launched BlackBerry 10 devices that will vie against Apple's iPhone and Android-based smartphones.

The rally in RIM shares was sparked by National Bank analyst Kris Thompson, who boosted his price target on RIM shares to $15 from $12. Thompson believes that there is more money to be made in the stock ahead of the early 2013 launch of the make-or-break new line of devices.

It was the second vote of confidence this week for the Canadian company, which has struggled to compete with the iPhone and with devices running on Google's market-leading Android operating system. On Tuesday, Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek, who has been one of RIM's most influential critics, raised his rating and price target on the stock.

RIM shares, which have now risen in the last seven straight trading sessions, rose to their highest level since May on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday and ended the day at C$12. The U.S. market, where trade volumes usually top those in Toronto, was closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

It was the biggest percentage gain in the stock since April 2009, when RIM shares rallied after the company's results topped market expectations.

Thompson, who has an "outperform" rating on RIM stock, said he raised his price target due partly to the "positive sentiment building in the industry" ahead of BB10's launch.

"The new management team is executing by maintaining the BlackBerry subscriber base, managing costs and cash, and seemingly readying a February 2013 BB10 global platform launch," he said in a note to clients.

Earlier this week, Misek said a favorable reaction from telecom carriers to the new devices and the BB10 operating system that runs them was behind his decision to lift his rating and price target on RIM.   Continued...

 
A logo of the Blackberry maker's Research in Motion is seen on a building at the RIM Technology Park in Waterloo April 18, 2012. Picture taken April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch