BlackBerry shares jump amid takeover talk

Stock market

BlackBerry Ltd. shares surged nearly 11 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after a research report identified the company as a likely target for an acquisition.

BlackBerry (TSX:BB) shares reached a high of $15.82 in Thursday morning trading – up 10.78 per cent.

The company ended the day at $15.42.

The jump came after Citron Research published a report saying the company's shares are likely to reach US$20 on the Nasdaq within 24 months. On Thursday, the former smartphone maker's shares on the U.S. exchange were trading at US$11.61.

The report also said the company is a likely buyout target at a sizable premium, highlighting BlackBerry's "virtually completed" transition from hardware maker to focusing on its software business.

Citron Research, an online stock commentary website led by Andrew Left, wrote that BlackBerry's QNX software, which is installed in about 60 million vehicles, makes the company an attractive acquisition target for Qualcomm, Nvidia or NXP Semiconductors.

BlackBerry's shares have been on the rise recently after positive analyst commentary.

In mid-May, Macquarie Research analyst Gus Papageorgiou said in a note that the company's shares could rise to US$45 by 2020. His 12-month Canadian-dollar target is $16.20.