BlackBerry Ltd Is Soaring: Is It The WannaCry Effect?

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BlackBerry stock has surged by about 7% in the past five days and about 47% year to date. It is believed that the latest WannaCry ransomware, which has affected 200,000 people, is indirectly benefiting the Canadian firm, which is among the most trusted brands when it comes to cyber-security.

How could the WannaCry ransomware be helping BlackBerry?

Investors are now taking cyber-security seriously after WannaCry’s brutal attack since last week. This was reflected in the shares of several cyber-security stocks and ETFs which owe them. The stocks surged after the ransomware infected devices and PCs, notes CNN. The same thing happened with BlackBerry, with investors realizing the importance of the Canadian firm in minimizing damage from attacks like WannaCry.

BlackBerry also posted on its corporate blog this week that it has tools to identify loopholes that give way to viruses and other malware. Further, the Canadian firm feels that WannaCry is just the start, and in the coming days, there could be more such attacks.

“BlackBerry Cybersecurity Services now offers a Ransomware Readiness Assessment, helping your organization review its current security posture with an emphasis on the capability to withstand a ransomware attack,” the blog post states.

A trusted name in cyber-security

BlackBerry, which once was the choice of the prominent and rich around the world, faced the threat of being wiped out, but then it positioned itself as a software company focusing on cyber-security, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Protection from ransomware such as WannaCry is the most sought-after feature that people are looking for right now, and BlackBerry is the leader when it comes to maintaining top notch security for smartphones. The company only recently partnered with Allied World Assurance to take its anti-hacking software and security a step ahead.

The Canadian firm is also working with two luxury car makers — Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover — to design a security service that can scan connected vehicles for computer viruses, according to Macquarie analyst Gus Papageorgiou. Automobiles are equally vulnerable to hacking because they depend on Internet to connect to computers and mobile networks.

According to Papageorgiou, the software the company is working on is capable of preventing wireless “hi-jacking” and can also warn the driver to stop the car in case of any critical danger. According to the analyst, the service will be unveiled as early as next year and generate about $10 per vehicle each month for BlackBerry.

Analysts upbeat on BlackBerry

Analysts are also positive on the stock, suggesting that growth in BlackBerry’s auto division could quadruple its stock price in three years. According to Papageorgiou, auto segment radar used for trailer tracking in the trucking industry and the company’s QNX automobile software can support its revenue. He suggests that the stock could go to $45 by 2020, while the 12-month price target is $11.80.

“We readily admit, and actively highlight to investors, that there are considerable risks here,” the analyst said.

He feels that the risk and reward ratio is in favor of investors, as the downside is only $8.30, compared to the upside potential of $40.

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