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Report On Business BlackBerry shares rise after invitations to potential new launch

BlackBerry Ltd. chairman and CEO John Chen gestures during the BlackBerry Security Summit in New York, July 29, 2014.

MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS

Shares of BlackBerry climbed higher for the second consecutive day Wednesday after the tech company announced plans for an event that could officially unveil the Passport, its latest smartphone.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company's stock closed up 2.5 per cent to $11.70, off its high of $11.92 earlier in the session.

That followed an increase of about 3 per cent in the trading session on Tuesday, when the company posted cryptic details of events slated for Sept. 24 in Toronto, London and Dubai.

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BlackBerry is widely expected to use the invitation-only events to officially unveil the Passport, a new device that meets somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet in size, and is designed to cater to professionals who need larger screens to view documents or technical schematics.

Chief executive John Chen offered a brief peek of the smartphone after the company's annual meeting earlier this summer. He said the Passport would be available in some international markets by the end of September.

BlackBerry shares have proven volatile over the past year, fluctuating between a high of more than $12 and a low of $5.79.

Chen was hired last year to reshape BlackBerry, cut costs and lead an effort to find a better footing in the highly competitive tech sector.

Before he joined BlackBerry, Chen led a turnaround at software company Sybase, which faced its own identity crisis and financial struggles before he helped make it a profitable operation focused on mobile business technology.

BlackBerry is scheduled to report its second-quarter financial results on Sept. 26.

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