NEW YORK, ( TheStreet) -- Strong BlackBerry Curve sales and limited competition from Apple ( AAPL) iPhone at Verizon ( VZ) this year earned a boost in Research In Motion ( RIMM) estimates from Morgan Stanley Monday.
"Based on our checks, we believe the low-end 8520 Blackberry continues to sell well internationally and our confidence in our longstanding thesis that Verizon does not begin selling an iPhone in 2010 is growing," Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum wrote in a research note Monday. Gelblum increased his February quarter forecast for RIM earnings by 4 cents to $1.31 a share from $1.27 previously. And he raised his sales target for RIM to $4.35 billion from $4.27 billion. Analysts are expecting RIM to deliver profit of $1.27 a share on sales of $4.3 billion when the company reports its fiscal fourth quarter results on March 31. RIM has been a laggard in the touchscreen department where rivals Apple and Google's ( GOOG) Android have taken the design lead with Web-oriented, application-friendly operating systems. RIM is expected to respond as early as this spring with a new touch-operated software system of its own. RIM is "on track to deliver a new browser in June." says Gelblum who now has a $95 price target on the stock. RIM shares were down 25 cents to $75.15 in premarket trading Monday. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.