Ahead Of The Bell: Research In Motion

NEW YORK (AP) — Research in Motion's stock climbed more than 6 percent in premarket trading Friday as an analyst lifted the company's rating and price target on the promising potential of its new Blackberry 10 device.

Research in Motion Ltd. is expected to launch its Blackberry 10 smartphones later this month, hoping that it will make the struggling company more competitive with the likes of businesses such as Apple Inc.

Peter Misek of Jefferies said in a client note that developers are supporting the Blackberry 10 more than expected, with Research in Motion anticipating 70,000 apps available for the device at its launch.

The analyst said that there is also better-than-expected carrier support for the Blackberry 10, with carriers agreeing to volume commitments for the first two quarters after the launch. Misek said he's been surprised by the strong initial positive feedback from carriers, considering that the Blackberry 10 is two years late to market and Research in Motion's market share has dropped to 5 percent from 20 percent. The analyst believes carriers are interested in the Blackberry 10 because it is one of their last chances to avoid being locked into a long-term smartphone operating system duopoly with Apple and Android.

Misek raised Research in Motion to "Buy" from "Hold" and increased its price target to $19.50 from $13.

Shares of the company gained $1.01, or 6.8 percent, to $15.92 about 45 minutes ahead of the market open.