TORONTO — Shares of Research in Motion Ltd. jumped nearly 14 percent Friday as investors seemingly grew more optimistic about a February launch of the Canadian company's much-delayed BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
RIM will release the latest version of its smartphone not too long after a Jan. 30 launch event, Kristian Tear, the company's chief operating officer, has said.
The new phones are seen as critical to RIM's survival as the smartphone pioneer struggles in North America to hold on to customers who are abandoning BlackBerrys for flashier iPhones and Android phones.
The Waterloo, Ontario, company seems to be preparing for a February global launch, a month earlier than many analysts were expecting, according to an analyst with National Bank Financial, a Canadian bank. Kris Thompson raised his shipments forecast for RIM for fiscal 2014 in a research note from Wednesday.
RIM shares on the Nasdaq closed up $1.41, or nearly 14 percent, to $11.67 Friday in an abbreviated trading session on Wall Street. The spike in the BlackBerry maker's shares came after a week of steady gains amid more positive sentiment.
Thompson, the National Bank Financial analyst, was bolstered by RIM's new management team, which he said is maintaining the BlackBerry smartphone subscriber base, managing costs and cash, and seemingly readying a February 2013 BB10 global product release, a month earlier than expected.