(Updates from 12:53 p.m. ET with closing information.)
Yesterday's news that the company would explore "strategic alternatives" has exacerbated the rumors swirling around the Ontario-based tech giant's future.
Fairfax Financial Holdings, BlackBerry's largest single shareholder owning 10% of the stock, could be an eventual acquirer. Lending credence to this rumor is that Fairfax's CEO Prem Watsa, often known as the "Canadian Warren Buffett," resigned from BlackBerry's board yesterday due to what the company's press release called "potential conflicts that may arise during the process."Watsa said in a statement, "I continue to be a strong supporter of the Company, the Board and Management as they move forward during this process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares."
Apple (AAPL) shares rose 1.34% to $473.61 after a prominent analyst released further predictions. Building off of yesterday's reports of a new iPhone unveiling on September 10, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster reiterated his Overweight rating and $655 price target. He predicted that the September 10 event would mark the beginning of a new Apple product cycle, with the cheaper iPhone and the iPhone 5S released at that event, iPad updates in October, a TV announcement later in the year, and a larger screen phone and iWatch in mid-2014. Munster lowered his estimate of the cannibalization rate of the cheaper phone (reportedly called the iPhone 5C) to 25% from 50% given the leaked videos of the new phone's casing. He also predicted that Apple would omit certain software features, such as Siri, from the 5C. Munster's expectations for the iPhone 5S are "minimal." Apart from basic updates such as in memory and battery life, he anticipates a fingerprint scanner with a basic unlocking feature. Finally, Munster wrote that he believes that "now is the time to own shares of AAPL." He believes that the stock will be flat year-over-year in the fourth quarter 2013, up 15% in March 2014, and up 21% in June 2014. In other Apple-related news, Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison said we've already seen the future of Apple without Steve Jobs, pointing out it's happened once before.
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