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BlackBerry's Shares Make Big Gains Under New Ticker, Analyst Upgrade

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BlackBerry (BBRY) shares made massive gains on the company's first day of trading under the "BBRY" ticker symbol, boosted by an analyst's upgrade.

Fresh from last week's launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, new smartphones and a major corporate rebranding, BlackBerry shares climbed 15% to $14.93 at the market close Monday.

Keen to inject some life into a struggling brand, the Canadian handset maker changed its company name from Research In Motion to BlackBerry at Wednesday's launch event for its new hardware and software. The firm's Nasdaq ticker symbol, formerly "RIMM," changed to "BBRY" today.

Bernstein Research upgraded BlackBerry to "outperform" from "market perform" on Monday, citing low channel inventories, strong carrier support and pent-up demand for the BlackBerry 10 technology. The firm also hiked his BlackBerry price target to $22 from $12.

"Initial feedback we have received from distributors on the first days of sales is particularly positive," Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu wrote in a note. "Even if the long-term prospects for the platform are very uncertain, we believe all is in place for Blackberry 10 to enjoy a great debut."

In addition to BlackBerry 10, the company unveiled two smartphones last week: the Z10 and Q10. The Z10 is a touchscreen device with a 4.2-inch display, while the Q10 comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard.

The Z10 will be available to U.S. consumers in March, with the Q10 expected to arrive in April.

BlackBerry also aired its first-ever Super Bowl ad during Sunday's clash between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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