Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New BlackBerry ringing in sales

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TORONTO -- The launch of the new BlackBerry smartphone is getting off to a better start than some had predicted.

At least two analysts have weighed in with anecdotal evidence that suggests the BlackBerry Z10 is selling at a solid pace in the United Kingdon since going on sale there last Thursday.

The Canadian launch today will give further insight into how the phones will fare in the U.S. when they hit stores next month.

But so far, investors appear to be impressed.

The BlackBerry company's shares rose more than 15 per cent on Monday, moving ahead $1.98 to close at $14.99 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Earlier in the day, a senior analyst at Bernstein Research upgraded the company to "outperform" with a target price of $22, an increase from $12.

"We have grown more confident in the likely success of the BlackBerry 10 launch, supported by low channel inventories, strong operator support and material pent-up demand," said Pierre Ferragu from Bernstein in a note.

"Initial feedback we have received from distributors on the first days of sales is particularly positive."

Last week, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said the new touchscreen device sales were off to a "strong start" in the UK.

"Some stores had lineups out front with widespread sellouts of the white Z10 and limited stock of the black Z10," he said in a note.

"Also, our checks indicate that pre-orders in the UAE and Canada have had a solid start. While this is not the crux of our call, these initial data points could provide some relief as many thought that the Z10 was DOA."

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 5, 2013 B4

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Updated on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM CST: replaces photo

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