Cautious plug for BlackBerry 10 boosts RIM shares

The stock jumps 6 percent after a Goldman Sachs analyst raises her rating to a "Buy" and expresses some hope for BlackBerry 10.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Research In Motion's test unit for BlackBerry 10.
Research In Motion's test unit for BlackBerry 10. CNET

RIM's stock climbed today in reaction to some rare positive news.

Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski increased her rating on RIM stock to "Buy" from "Neutral" today after saying that there's a "30 percent chance" the company's BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be successful, the Associated Press reported.

A one-in-three chance isn't all that much to cheer about, but Jankowski's opinion and "Buy" rating were enough to send the stock up more than 6 percent since the start of today's trading.

Goldman Sachs upped its 12-month price target for RIM shares to $16 from $9, which certainly also helped the stock stage its rebound.

In raising her outlook, Jankowski cited early positive reviews for RIM's BlackBerry 10 OS and support among carriers looking for a third major operating system beyond just iOS and Android.

RIM is prepping to unveil BlackBerry 10 on January 30, with smartphones running the new OS slated to pop up in February.

Jankowski thinks RIM will finally turn a profit in its fiscal year ending February 2014, the AP noted, while other analysts are still eyeing a loss. But she expects the company to return to the red the following year.

A couple more analysts have recently chimed in with fingers crossed for RIM.

Last week, National Bank Financial's Kris Thompson raised his shipment estimate for BlackBerry 10 phones for RIM's next fiscal year to 35.5 million from 31.6 million. He also bumped up the stock's target price to $15 from $12.

Likewise, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek increased his target price for RIM shares to $10 from $5, saying that the BlackBerry 10 OS has a 20 to 30 percent chance of being a success, the AP added.

Like other mobile players, RIM has been struggling against heavy competition from the iPhone and Android phones. The company is counting on its new phones powered by BlackBerry 10 to help it revive some of its past glory and market share.

But with even optimistic analysts projecting a success rate of only 20 or 30 percent for the new OS, RIM will be hard pressed to make a dent in a market so overwhelmingly dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung.