06/18/2013 04:18 EDT | Updated 08/18/2013 05:12 EDT

BlackBerry Profitable This Year? RBC Analyst Says Yes


TORONTO - A stronger vote of confidence for BlackBerry's future from analysts at RBC Capital Markets helped the smartphone company's stock rise nearly four per cent on Tuesday.

The bank raised expectations for shipments of new BlackBerry 10 devices and said the Waterloo, Ont.-based firm should be profitable this fiscal year, after recent quarterly losses.

Shares of BlackBerry (TSX:BB) gained 53 cents to close at $15.13 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Analyst Mark Sue noted that optimism is being fuelled by faster deliveries of the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 model and keyboard BlackBerry Q10 to the market.

He expects the company will ship 3.5 million units of phones on its new BlackBerry 10 operating system in the first-quarter of the fiscal year, higher than his previous 2.75 million forecast.

Sue also noted that the anticipated release later this summer of the lower-priced BlackBerry Q5 phone will come sooner than originally expected, but warned that "the picture remains blurry" when looking at the company in a longer term view.

"Competition remains intense and BlackBerry has a significantly diminished market presence," he wrote.

BlackBerry has been gaining more favour with analysts in recent months as its new phones roll out across much of the world.

Last week, Societe Generale analyst Andy Perkins boosted the smartphone maker to a "buy'' from a "sell,'' saying that the phones have been "selling well.''

BlackBerry will release its first-quarter earnings on June 28.

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