This morning, Research in Motion (TSX:RIM) announced that it will launch its much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 phones on January 30th.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says the devices will be worth the wait.
“In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs. Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best-in-class browser, a rich application ecosystem and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities. All of this will be integrated into a user experience — the BlackBerry Flow — that is unlike any smart phone on the market today,” he said, adding: “Thanks to our strong partnerships with global carriers and a growing ecosystem of developers, we believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10. We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world.”
Northern Securities analyst Sameet Kanade has been one of RIM’s most outspoken critics. His $6 target was at the low end of the spectrum, but when he revised his target price to $4.50 in September, the analyst held the distinction of owning the street’s most pessimistic assessment of the BlackBerry maker’s business.
Kanade this morning issued a note to clients that said his views of the fundamentals of RIM’s business remain unchanged. However, he offered, the January 30th event will shift investor focus to a more bullish stance, as BlackBerry 10 should be a “relative success”. Kanade says the return of bullish sentiment to RIM may result in a “short squeeze”, as he notes that current short interest on the stock right now is more than 20%. Kanade said his price target of $4.50 is now “Under Review” and he changed his SELL rating to a HOLD.
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Kanade joins several other analysts who have recently revised their target upwards on RIM. After the company’s Q3 wasn’t nearly as bad as expected, Cormark analyst Richard Tse upgraded the stock to BUY from HOLD and increased his target price to $12 from, from his previous $10.
And earlier this month, Byron Capital analyst Tom Astle initiated coverage of RIM with a BUY and the same $12 target, because he felt that RIM had “much more room to improve than it has to decline.”
Shares of Research in Motion on the TSX closed today up 2.9% to $8.81.