BlackBerry Gets Upgrade from Morgan Stanley, Shares Jump

Morgan Stanley reversed course in its outlook for BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), upgrading the smartphone maker to overweight from underweight and hiking its price target to $22.

BlackBerry shares jumped 4.72% to $15.74 on the news Wednesday morning.

Analysts at the investment bank believe the new BlackBerry 10 operating system will not become a “strong” third option when compared to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

However, in a research note to clients, Morgan Stanley said it now sees “room in the handset market for niche mid-range players.” It added that gross margin will likely surpass consensus projections this year as users of BlackBerry 6, an older operating system, move to later versions.

Morgan Stanley’s previous price target for BlackBerry was $10.

BlackBerry 10 will make its U.S. debut on Friday with the release of the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10, which is already available in Canada, the U.K. and other markets.

The company is expected to release its fourth-quarter earnings next week.

Last week, BlackBerry said it received an order for one million new smartphones, the largest single order in the company’s history, from an unnamed partner.