Shares of Research in Motion (RIMM) are up 54 cents, or 4%, at $14.19 today, and were as high as $14.43 at one point, a much better showng than the broader market’s 0.4% climb for the Nasdaq Composite, on no apparent news.
The proximate source is a write-up today by TheBoyGeniusReport’s Zach Epstein, expanding on an article yesterday by NewsForBlackBerry, which claims RIM will debut its long-awaited “BlackBerry 10” smartphone portfolio by “mid-August,” citing an un-named source.
N4BB claims that will in turn lead to BB10 arriving for sale in October. Epstein writes that the time frame discussed is consistent with what he had already written back in January, when BGR published the BB10 product roadmap.
Matthew Thornton with Avian Securities, who has a Hold rating on RIM stock, tells me in a phone conversation this afternoon that, indeed, the time frame mentioned by N4BB is nothing new, as far as he’s concerned.
“I don’t see why this is news per se, for a lot of us, but be that as it may, it seems to have some people excited,” says Thornton, noting that he’s fielded multiple investor calls today about the BGR article and the timeline for BB10.
“If you talk to people on the supply chain, everyone has seen this roadmap at one time or another,” says Thornton.
Sources I’ve spoken with who’ve talked with carriers who’ve apparently examined the device say the initial BB10 device will “break away” from the traditional BlackBerry look, not having a Qwerty keyboard or the rounded edges of the BlackBerry, with a thinner profile typical of other smartphones, although perhaps not as thin as some of the other devices that will be in the market, a source tells me. The device is expected to have a 4.2-inch screen, a source says.
Another way of looking at today’s stock climb is that the shares may finally be at a place where they are reflecting optimism around BB10, rather than reflecting the worries about RIM. To date, RIM stock has fallen a little over 2% this year while the Nasdaq rose 17%.
“Maybe the fact that we’re getting a little closer to that [introduction of BB10], maybe the fact it’s getting cemented, is getting people more excited” about RIMM, says Thornton.It’s conceivable, too, that the stock may have been helped today by what appear to be resolute value investing remarks on its behalf.
The Globe & Mail‘s Tara Perkins and Iain Marlow today report that Prem Watsa, principal of Fairfax Financial Holdings, told attendees of the firm’s annual meeting today that Fairfax’s 5% stake in RIMM shares is a bet on a three- to five-year time frame for a turnaround.While that could be bad news for some looking for a quick return, others may take heart from Watsa’s very bullish tone. As Perkins and Marlow quote him:
Is it going to turn around in three months, six months, nine months? No, but if you’re looking four or five years – we make investments over four or five years… It’s an amazing success story.