BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) short interest surged substantially in October, totaling 99,841,954 shares as of October 15th. This is an increase of 8.2% from the September 30th total of 92,233,626 shares. Presently, almost 21% of the company’s shares are sold short.

BlackBerry Ltd Short Interest Up 8.2% In October

Analysts’ rate BlackBerry a Hold

Recently, a number of analysts have assigned a rating to the stock. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity maintained a Hold rating on the stock in a research note on October 13th. Imperial Capital analysts started coverage of the stock and assigned an In-line rating in a research note to the investors on October 6th. Finally, analysts at ING Group initiated coverage on BlackBerry with a research note on October 6th. They set an in-line rating and a $10.00 price target on the stock. Overall, BlackBerry has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $8.83.

Earlier this week, options trading in BlackBerry was above average. Investors purchased 24,852 call options on the company, which is an increase of 101% compared to the typical daily volume of 12,347.

BlackBerry gaining momentum

After recent reports that Lenovo is reconsidering acquiring BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), investors hoping for quick returns drove the shares up 9%. However, a report from the Globe and Mail stated that there are sparse chances that Lenovo will succeed with the BlackBerry acquisition, and the Canadian smartphone maker has not yet discussed the matter with Lenovo. Moreover, the laws of the United States as well as Canada are stringent and pushing a deal through will be challenging for Lenovo.

Blackberry was on the verge of bankruptcy as recently as a year ago. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company launched smartphones that fared poorly. This year, the situation for the company has improved, and it is finding its way under CEO John Chen’s guidance. The firm’s latest device, Passport, is achieving some good sales numbers. Fairfax Financials, a major stakeholder in the company, are quietly supporting the company in its turnaround quest.

BlackBerry posted its last earning results on September 26th. For the quarter, earnings per share for the company came in at ($0.02), above the consensus estimate of ($0.16). BlackBerry posted revenue of $916.00 million for the quarter, which was a decline of 41.8% year over year. On average, analysts anticipate that BlackBerry will post $-0.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.