Reuters is reporting on Tuesday morning’s rumour that a well-heeled activist investor is moving in on Research In Motion Ltd. :
“Shares of Research In Motion jumped more than 6 per cent on Tuesday morning on market speculation that activist investor Carl Icahn had taken a stake in the struggling BlackBerry maker.
"Traders ‘are saying Icahn has taken a stake, but nothing is confirmed,’ BGC Partners tech analyst Colin Gillis told Reuters, as the shares rose 6.2 per cent to $23.04 on the Nasdaq. Icahn's office and RIM were not immediately available for comment.”
One source told the Globe that there was indeed an activist investor circling the company and that it was rumoured to be Mr. Icahn.
If true, this is certainly an interesting development for the struggling BlackBerry maker, even though there has been speculation for some time that the beaten up shares would attract interest from someone, including the folks at Microsoft Corp.
But what’s interesting is that the market is more or less shrugging it off: Sure, RIM shares rose in mid-morning trading on Tuesday, up 5.6 per cent in Toronto based on the latest action.
But the gains come as the rest of the market is rallying as well, and economically sensitive stocks are leading the gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was recently spotted up 250 points or 2.3 per cent. And Canada’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 336 points or 2.9 per cent – with commodity producers like Teck Resources Ltd. up more than 6 per cent.
Either the market is disregarding the Icahn rumour, or it simply can’t get that excited about RIM even when it appears that the smart money might be moving in on it. The longer-term performance of the stock is definitely sobering: The shares are down 60 per cent this year and down 84 per cent from their high in 2008. By comparison, Tuesday morning’s $1.26 gain (in Toronto) looks like little more than noise at this point.
-- With files from Boyd Erman