RIM Advances After Lazaridis Demos PlayBook Tablet

Research In Motion Ltd. climbed the most in more than three months as an analyst said the company’s demonstration of its PlayBook tablet computer suggests it may be a credible rival to Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Investors are beginning to understand the importance of the company’s tablet, Tero Kuittinen, an analyst at MKM Partners LP, said today in a research note distributed to clients. He reiterated his “buy” recommendation for the stock.

RIM is trying to differentiate itself from Apple and others in the increasingly crowded market for tablets by stressing the PlayBook’s ability to handle Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash technology that underpins much of the video content on the Internet. The iPad doesn’t run Flash video or animation.

“RIM is taking a diametrically opposite approach by giving customers the freedom to experience the whole Web,” Kuittinen said in his note.

RIM rose $3.04, or 5.9 percent, to $54.76 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading, the shares’ biggest daily gain since July 9. They have fallen 19 percent this year.

RIM didn’t demonstrate how the device worked when the company first displayed it Sept. 27 in San Francisco, which “invited speculation that the PlayBook unveiling may have been premature,” said Kuittinen.

The stock’s gains today and yesterday, when it rose 5.5 percent, “may be due to the market’s continued digestion and increasing approval” of the PlayBook, he said.

Yesterday in a video posted to the website YouTube, RIM Co- Chief Executive Officer Mike Lazaridis was shown at a conference in Los Angeles, scrolling through images and playing video with Flash on the PlayBook.

The demonstration showed the PlayBook is “real, powerful,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky said yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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