Shares of Research In Motion (RIMM) are rebounding since falling to a nine-year low this past summer. The BlackBerry maker’s stock has rallied nearly 70% in the past three months on upbeat estimates from a variety of Wall Street analysts. Following confirmation that it would launch its BlackBerry 10 operating system this January, analysts have become bullish about RIM’s future. Todd Coupland of CIBC World Markets on Monday increased his rating on the company’s stock to “Sector Outperformer” from “Sector Underperformer,” and upped his price target from $8 to $17. The analyst cited strong early reviews of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, along with a number of features that he expects to “re-ignite Blackberry fan support.”
“With a January 30 BB10 launch date locked in, along with carrier and developer feedback now more clear, an upgrade of the existing subscriber base will be the most likely outcome,” Coupland wrote in a research note obtained by Forbes. “Even in the face of lower services ARPU, RIM looks materially undervalued.”
Coupland estimates that RIM could ship about 41.4 million devices in the February 2014 fiscal year, an increase from an estimated 30.2 million in fiscal 2013. He predicts the new operating system will help the company see profits of $0.85 per share in its 2014 fiscal year, well ahead of Wall Street’s consensus of $0.59.
“BB10 helping RIM win back material share from Android and iOS remains an open question,” he said. “Regardless of market share upside, it is our view that RIM is now in a good position to successfully stabilize its base, which will help repair its brand reputation and push shipments higher on a year-over-year basis off a low base.”
The analyst’s optimistic views are shared by Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co, who said last week that RIM’s stock could potentially be worth as much as $43 per share within the next 12 months. Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette disagrees, however, and notes that the company’s trajectory will not change regardless of the quality of BlackBerry 10.