Ravaged RIM Shares Rally 15 Percent
Friday morning, investors emerged from their turkey-induced L-Tryptophan stupor to push RIM’s stock into a remarkable rally. The company’s shares, which have tumbled more than 20 percent this year, rose some 15 percent to $11.82 in early trading. The reason? Investor reaction to a bullish note from National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson, who raised his target on RIM to $15 from $12, citing the “positive sentiment” building ahead of the launch of the company’s next generation OS, BlackBerry 10.
“We think there is more money to be made ahead of the C2013 launch of BB10,” Thompson wrote in a research note to clients. “The new RIM management team is executing by maintaining the BlackBerry subscriber base, managing costs and cash, seemingly readying a February 2013 BB10 global platform launch.”
Thompson’s optimism echoes that of Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who earlier this week upgraded RIM to “Hold” from “Underperform,” noting developing carrier support for BlackBerry 10. “Preliminary results from our quarterly handset survey indicate developed market carriers have a much more positive view of BB10 than we expected,” he wrote in a note. “With greater carrier shelf space and marketing support, we now believe BB10 has a 20 percent – 30 percent probability of success.”
Two such votes of confidence, tentative though the second may be, seem to be dampening Wall Street’s skepticism over a RIM turnaround. The company’s shares have enjoyed a few days of consecutive gains now, and while they’re still nowhere near the $148 price they commanded in 2008, they’re at least headed in the right direction.