After beginning the year amid uncertainty about its very future, Blackberry (BBRY) broke out of its slow rally of the last few weeks into a full sprint today, with the news that the brokerage firm Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock from “underweight” to “overweight” while doubling its price targets from $10 per share to $22 per share.
The company’s share price shot up 8.85 percent to $16.31, trading nearly 6 million shares above its 3-month average volume of 64,857,300 on the news in midday, and a week ahead of a fourth quarter earnings report that is expected to give investors their first look at how the company’s new Z10 phone is selling abroad. The highly anticipated Z10’s official release in the U.S. comes at the end of the week.
Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum explained the twin upgrades by citing the new phone’s potential to increase profit margins, allowing the company to remain competitive without necessarily having to outperform or out-innovate gigantic rivals like Apple (AAPL) and Samsung.
The upgrade comes not long after Goldman Sachs (GS) similarly increased the stock’s price target to $19 back at the end of January.
CEO Thorston Heins was confident about the company’s future, saying “I shake my head sometimes and wonder what everyone is talking about. The company has no debt, I will report pretty good cash position by the end of March in my earnings call, so I think we did a really diligent job in, not just keeping the company afloat, but also bringing it back to health.”
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