January 12, 2012 / 5:45 PM / 6 years ago

RIM stock up on talk BlackBerry maker hired Goldman

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares in Research In Motion climbed nearly 4 percent on Thursday on market speculation the BlackBerry maker had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore strategic options.

A BlackBerry handset is displayed in Washington, December 15, 2011. Research In Motion releases its financial results on Thursday, as investors await news on whether RIM will stand by its current timetable to switch its smartphones to the new QNX operating system by early next year. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

RIM has been the target of a steady stream of takeover talk as its market valuation has crawled along at multi-year lows amid product delays and profit warnings.

Analysts have largely downplayed the prospects of a sale, saying no natural buyers exist and that current management is focused on turning around the company’s fortunes.

“It’s up on Goldman, but I wouldn’t put too much on that,” said one trader who declined to be identified.

RIM stock jumped sharply in September on reports that activist investor Carl Icahn might take a stake, and again a week later on talk it had hired an investment bank.

It jumped again in December after Reuters reported that Amazon.com and other potential buyers had considered a bid.

RIM was not immediately available to comment. It typically declines to comment on rumor or speculation. Goldman was also not immediately available.

The stock was steady at $16.05, a 2.8 percent increase, just after midday on Nasdaq. In Toronto, the shares were up 2.7 percent at C$16.35 after rising as high as C$16.63.

The stock has lost 75 percent of its value in the past year.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Nadia Damouni in New York; editing by Rob Wilson

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