Shares of BlackBerry rose more than 12 percent on Monday after Bernstein
Research said it was upgrading the stock to "outperform" after last
week's launch of the company's new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
brokerage firm, which has not had an "outperform" rating on the stock
for more than three years, also lifted its price target to $22 from $12,
saying it has grown much more confident about the success of the
smartphones, powered by the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.
of BlackBerry, which is in the process of changing its legal name from
Research In Motion, rose 12.2 percent to $14.63 in midday Nasdaq
trading. BlackBerry's Toronto-listed shares were up 12.1 percent at
C$14.59 at 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT).
The stock began trading
under the "BBRY" symbol on Nasdaq on Monday and under the "BB" symbol on
the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock used to trade as "RIMM" on the
Nasdaq and "RIM" on the TSX.
"We upgrade BlackBerry to outperform
today as we believe BB 10 is set for a strong launch," Bernstein analyst
Pierre Ferragu said in a note to clients. "Even if the long-term
prospects for the platform are very uncertain, we believe all is in
place for BlackBerry 10 to enjoy a great debut."
one-time pioneer in the smartphone industry, has ceded market share in
recent years to the likes of Apple's iPhone, Samsung's Galaxy line and a
slew of devices powered by Google Inc's market-leading Android
In a make-or-break move to regain market share
and return to profit, BlackBerry introduced its new line of smartphones
to much fanfare on Wednesday. However, its stock fell more than 10
percent following the launch as investors were disappointed that the new
smartphones will only go on sale in mid-March in the crucial U.S.
"The strength of this launch is overlooked by investors,
creating strong opportunity to buy BlackBerry," said Ferragu, adding
that he expects strong initial corporate demand for the new devices.
believe BlackBerry should trade in the $20-$25 range once a decent
launch for Blackberry 10 and a stabilized trajectory for fiscal year
2014 are priced in," he said.
BlackBerry unveiled both a
touch-screen device and a physical-keyboard device last week. While the
traditional keyboard model only goes on sale in April, the Z10
touch-screen device is already on sale in the United Kingdom and hits
store shelves in Canada this week.
BlackBerry said the U.S. launch was delayed until mid-March because U.S.
wireless carriers have a longer testing phase than carriers in other
countries. The devices, which are set to retail for C$599 in Canada, are
currently attracting bids of more than $1,000 each on auction site
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said initial checks
indicated that sales of the Z10 in the United Kingdom were off to a
"Some stores had lineups out front with widespread
sellouts of the white Z10 and limited stock of the black Z10. Also, our
checks indicate that pre-orders in the (United Arab Emirates) and Canada
have had a solid start," said Misek, in a note to clients. "These
initial data points could provide some relief as many thought that the
Z10 was dead on arrival."
Several analysts, however, remained skeptical.
Securities analyst Deepak Kaushal cut his rating on the company to
"reduce" from "hold" arguing that he sees "little at this point that
will attract subscribers back from competing smartphones".
© Thomson Reuters 2013
BlackBerry 10 Launch: In pictures