Fresh BlackBerry buzz drives RIM shares up
January 11, 2013, 3:51 PM
On no obvious news, Research In Motion Ltd. RIMM -0.15% CA:RIM +12.89% saw its stock jump by nearly 14% to $13.55 as Friday’s closing bell neared — putting the BlackBerry maker back near the six-month high it enjoyed prior to its disappointing earnings report last month.
The boost came as some gadget blogs began running some leaked marketing materials for the new touch-screen BlackBerry expected to be formally unveiled at an event in New York City on Jan. 30.
The U.K. blog known as Rapid Berry was the first to run the shots, with a device expected to be called the BlackBerry Z10. The device carries a thin, flat design similar to the iPhone 5. The new device will run on the BlackBerry 10 operating system that RIM has been scrambling to build in an effort to regain some of the market share lost to the iPhone and Android platforms.
Another factor adding to the day’s boost may have been some short-covering by investors. BMO Capital Markets downgraded RIM to an underperform rating before the opening bell, with analyst Tim Long saying “we are not expecting the new phones to stem market share losses.”
Mike Walkley, an analyst with competing brokerage Canaccord Genuity, told MarketWatch that some investors who had heavily shorted the stock prior to the downgrade may have scrambled when the ratings change failed to push the shares down.
RIM also sent out formal invitations to the January 30 event in New York that the company will use to launch the BlackBerry 10 platform and announce details about the new phones. The company had announced the date for the event previously.