Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) is enjoying the benefits of a surprise upgrade this morning. Today’s call was that it was raised to Buy from Neutral with $16 objective price target by Goldman Sachs. Most of the recent upgrades have been to Hold or Neutral from the equivalent of Hold or Sell ratings. Earlier this week we saw CIBC raise its rating to Outperform from Underperform, but before that Jefferies raised its rating to Hold from Underperform.
Today’s key upgrade is after RIM confirmed that its BlackBerry 10 operating system would be out at the end of January. We would note that this upgrade came on the heels of a 70% bounce from the bottom, and Goldman Sachs previously had a price target of only $9.00 on RIM. The firm sees a positive risk-reward scenario heading into the January 30 launch. Goldman Sachs also now thinks that next year’s estimates on the street are too low because they are not including enough of the device sales. Another divergence is that Goldman Sachs sees RIM posting some positive earnings rather than a loss expected by the Street.
Research In Motion shares closed at $11.10 yesterday against a 52-week range of $6.22 to $18.77. The average target from Wall St. is all the way back down at $8.90, so analysts may have a lot of catching up to do if RIM will actually get a sales surge in January.
Its shares are up over 10% at $12.30 in premarket trading. This represents the highest share price since early in May.
JON C. OGG