BlackBerry Phones Prompt Societe Generale Upgrade: Toronto Mover

BlackBerry (BBRY) rose the most in almost three months after Societe Generale SA boosted its rating on the stock to buy from sell, saying channel checks show the Canadian smartphone maker’s new devices are selling well.

The shares gained 6.3 percent to $14.42 at the close in New York, the biggest jump since March 20. The stock has climbed 21 percent this year.

BlackBerry is seeking to revive sales after losing market share to Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s Galaxy devices. This year the company introduced the Z10, which has a touch-screen, and the Q10, which targets BlackBerry loyalists with a physical keyboard.

“Our base case scenario now assumes that the new handset sales have been faster than we previously assumed,” Andy Perkins, a Societe Generale analyst, wrote.

Societe Generale forecasts Z10 sales of more than 4 million in the fiscal first quarter, up from 1 million in the prior period. Q10 devices could reach almost 1 million, according to an investor note.

First-quarter revenue may be $3.7 billion, up from $2.7 billion in the prior period, he said. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $3.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Samsung accounted for a third of smartphone sales last quarter, while Apple had 17 percent, according to IDC. Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry saw its share fall to 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, before the company dropped out of the top five in this this year.

BlackBerry is scheduled to report earnings on June 28.

To contact the reporter on this story: Niamh Ring in New York at nring@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Miller at kmiller@bloomberg.net

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