RIM shares jump 10% as Microsoft, Amazon buyout talk swirls

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Research in Motion Ltd. is going through more ups and downs than Santa’s sleigh will Saturday.

The BlackBerry maker’s stock rose 10% in trading on Wednesday after rumors began to circulate that the Canadian company had been in various talks to sell itself to Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Corp.


Nothing has come of those talks, but the buzz about a possible sale lifted the battered stock above dismal lows it had hit last week when it reported that quarterly profit had sunk 70% since a year earlier. The company has faced stiffening competition from rival smartphone powers such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc., and its BlackBerry Playbook tablet joined the ranks of also-rans that failed to chip away at the dominance of Apple’s iPad.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Microsoft and its ally Nokia considered making a joint bid to buy RIM, but that the status of those talks remained a secret. A second report from Reuters described similarly indefinite talks the company had with Amazon, which it said hired an investment bank to research the viability of a deal during the summer.

The stock rose $1.26, or 10.06%, to $13.78 during regular trading, but is still down nearly 77% this year.


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RIM stock drops after profit plummets more than 70%

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-- David Sarno

Photo: A customer holds BlackBerry smartphones at a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, this month. Credit: Mast Irham / EPA