Research In Motion Ltd, for months enveloped by a wave of negative sentiment, got a boost on Tuesday when one of its most influential critics raised his rating on the stock ahead of the launch of RIM's make-or-break new line of BlackBerry 10 devices.
The company gets a boost
RIM hopes BB10 smartphones will help claw back market share it has lost in recent years to Apple Inc's iPhone and devices that run on Google Inc's Android operating system.
Misek, who doubled his price target on shares of RIM to $10 from $5, also raised his rating on the stock to "hold" from "underperform".
"With greater carrier shelf space and marketing support, we now believe BB10 has a 20 percent to 30 percent probability of success," said Misek, who has long been skeptical of RIM's odds of engineering a turnaround.
Misek cautioned that there is still downside if RIM's gamble on BB10 fails, but he noted that the stock could be worth as much as $43 within the next 12 months if RIM's bet pays off and its new operating system gets licensed by other handset makers.
RIM says its new devices will be faster and smoother and have a large catalog of applications, which are now critical to the success of any new line of smartphones. While feedback from both developers and carriers on the new devices has been largely upbeat, financial analysts have been much more circumspect about the company's prospects.
Misek's view is not shared by at least one of his counterparts.
In a note to clients on Monday, Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette reiterated his "underperform" rating on RIM's shares. He said regardless of its quality, there is almost no chance that BB10 will meaningfully change RIM's trajectory.
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