BlackBerry's volatile shares surged on Wednesday after the smartphone
maker said one of its established partners had placed an order for 1
million BlackBerry 10 smartphones, with shipments set to begin
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it is the
largest ever single purchase order in its history, a big fillip for the
company that is attempting to regain relevance in the ultra-competitive
smartphone market, where it has ceded ground to rivals like Apple Inc's
iPhone, Samsung Electronics' line of Galaxy devices and other devices
powered by Google Inc's Android operating system.
make-or-break move to regain market share and return to profit,
BlackBerry introduced a new line of smartphones powered by its
BlackBerry 10 (Review) operating system, to much fanfare earlier this year. The
touchscreen version dubbed the Z10 (Review I Pictures) is already on sale in over 20
countries, while a device named the Q10 with a physical keyboard is set
to be launched in April.
The company, which has abandoned its old
name, Research In Motion, and renamed itself BlackBerry, did not
disclose either the location of the "established partner" or the time
frame for the device sales. BlackBerry also did not disclose whether the
order is for just Z10 devices or both Z10 and Q10 devices.
the lack of detail, analysts view the announcement as a positive,
especially since it comes close on the heels of announcements from
Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc the two largest U.S.
wireless carriers - that they plan to begin selling the Z10 device later
"The combination of these three announcements gives
us more comfort in our May quarter (forecast)," said Wells Fargo analyst
Maynard Um in a note to clients.
Um, who has an outperform rating on the stock, expects sales of 2.5 million BlackBerry 10 devices in the quarter ending June 1.
stock ended the day up 8.2 percent at $15.65 on the Nasdaq on
Wednesday, while its Toronto-listed shares rose by a similar margin to
After the closing bell, the stock rose further, at 19:00 ET it was trading at $16.07 in the United States.
BGC analyst Colin Gillis however warned that it is too early to read too much into the single sales order.
good for them. But the reality is the sales are going to be spread out
over time," he said. "This is a nice headline, but it doesn't answer
the questions that are still surrounding the company."
BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins, said the company was very
encouraged by the traction that the Z10 was gaining. Heins said sales of
the high-end device had surpassed BlackBerry's expectations in emerging
markets like India, where cheaper entry-level phones are typically
BlackBerry is set to report fiscal fourth-quarter results on March 28, for the period ended March 2.
© Thomson Reuters 2013