RIM Jumps Amid Rising Optimism for BlackBerry 10

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) shares jumped the most in more than two and a half years amid rising confidence the new BlackBerry 10 lineup will boost sales for the struggling smartphone maker.

Analysts received invitations today to the formal unveiling of the new phones on Jan. 30, a sign that the oft-delayed device is real and going to be released on time, said Anil Doradla, an analyst at William Blair & Co. in Chicago. A series of photos also were posted today on technology blog RapidBerry showing the new phones in action. RIM is releasing the BlackBerry 10 in both touch-screen and physical-keyboard versions.

“What you’re seeing here is the anticipation of the launch of these new phones, the anticipation of potentially healthy sell-through for at least one or two quarters,” Doradla said in an interview. He rates RIM the equivalent of a hold.

RIM jumped 14 percent to $13.56 at 4 p.m. in New York, the most since April, 2009. Optimism that the new phones will be successful has caused the stock to more than double since late September.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), the third-largest U.S. carrier, also reiterated its support for the BlackBerry this week at the Consumer Electronics Show.

“We are working closely with RIM to try and get out a product this year,” Sprint Product Chief Fared Adib said at the conference. “The market is consolidating around Samsung and Apple, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. We need other players to do well.”

RIM plans to unveil the new phones in six cities around the world at the end of January, before putting them on sale in February and March. RIM needs a hit if it is to regain market share lost to Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and devices that run Google Inc.’s Android. If the company doesn’t achieve that, the stock will tumble again, Doradla said.

“In the next 20 days, I expect the stock to trend upwards,” he said. “Once the product is launched, barring signs of sell-through exceeding street expectations, I expect the stock to pull back.”

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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