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BlackBerry maker's shares get boost amid buyout talks

Shares of troubled Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, rise 10% on speculation that Amazon, Microsoft or Nokia might buy it.

December 22, 2011|By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
  • Research in Motion President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in October. RIM shares rose 10% Wednesday on speculation that the Canadian company is a takeover target.
Research in Motion President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in October. RIM… (Justin Sullivan, Getty…)

Shares of troubled BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd. shot up Tuesday amid speculation that it was a takeover target.

The BlackBerry maker's stock rose 10% in trading Wednesday after rumors began to circulate that the Canadian company had been in various talks to sell itself to Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Corp.

Nothing has come of those talks, but the buzz about a possible sale lifted the battered stock above the dismal lows it hit last week when it reported that quarterly profit had sunk 70% since a year earlier.

The company has faced stiffening competition from smartphone rivals such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc., and its BlackBerry Playbook tablet joined the ranks of also-rans that failed to chip away at the dominance of Apple's iPad.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Microsoft and its ally Nokia considered making a joint bid to buy RIM, but that the status of those talks remained a secret. A second report from Reuters described similarly indefinite talks the company had with Amazon, which it said hired an investment bank to research the viability of a deal during the summer.

The stock rose $1.26 to $13.78 during regular trading but is still down nearly 77% this year.

david.sarno@latimes.com

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