updated 08:30 pm EST, Sat December 1, 2012
Goldman faith in BB10 pumps RIM stocks
Embattled BlackBerry maker Research In Motion saw its stock jump slightly this week as investment bank Goldman Sachs expressed confidence in RIM's ability to return to profitability on the back of its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system and devices. RIM shares closed at $11.60 on Friday, up 0.52 percent for the day and up significantly from their close on Wednesday. On Thursday, shares had jumped as much as four percent in light of Goldman's prediction. Overall, shares of RIM are up nearly 80 percent since late September.
Goldman analysts gave BlackBerry 10 a 30 percent chance of success based on positive early reviews of the OS, as well as "interest by carriers and consumers in broadening the field beyond Android/iOS." The investment firm raised its rating on RIM to a "Buy" based on this optimism.
RIM shares tumbled earlier this year after the Canadian company announced that it would be delaying the release of BB10 until the first quarter of 2013. RIM has been preparing at least two new handsets for BB10, with a possible third device in the offing, but continuing workforce reductions have considerably restricted the resources RIM has at its disposal.
Once a leader in the smartphone sector, RIM has in a short time been surpassed by Apple's iPhone and a number of manufacturers producing Android-powered smartphones, especially South Korea's Samsung. Particularly damaging for the company has been the increasing willingness of governmental agencies to allow employees to use devices other than BlackBerries, which have long been preferred due to their security features.
After earlier analyst predictions sent the stock into near freefall, the Goldman announcement -- along with similarly positive assessments from other analysts -- has produced some operating space for RIM. In the second quarter of 2012, the company actually beat analysts' expectations, thanks in part to its cost-cutting measures but also due to its still-growing subscriber base.
Meanwhile, Tom's Hardware carries a report that RIM is preparing for BlackBerry 10's January launch by delivering units with hardware QWERTY keyboards to developers. The hardware keyboard model, along with an all touchscreen device, will be the flagship units for the new operating system's launch.