BlackBerry Ltd Stock Hits Multi-Year High Thanks To QNX, WannaCry

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In what seems like an episode of The Twilight Zone, BlackBerry shares were among the top gainers on the Toronto Stock Exchange today, climbing by more than 8% to as high as C$15.34 on improved sentiment. It seems investors have become more positive on the company’s software offerings for cyber-security and the auto industry.

Blackberry’s NASDAQ-listed shares did not soar with its Toronto-listed shares on Tuesday, although the U.S.-listed shares did surge on Monday, which was a market holiday in Canada. Canadian investors couldn’t buy the stock on Monday because of the holiday, so they made their purchases a day later.

Ford to deploy BlackBerry software in cars

On Friday, Ford announced that it will begin updating the software in its vehicles wirelessly to improve security using BlackBerry’s solutions. The Sync 3 system that’s installed in Ford’s vehicles runs on QNX, so investors believe this is a sign that the Canadian firm’s automotive software will be deployed more widely by other automakers. QNX is able to handle over-the-air updates, which is a fairly new offering in the auto industry.

CCS Insight analyst Nicholas McQuire told Reuters that BlackBerry is well-positioned to take advantage of the auto industry’s shift toward over-the-air updates for the software used in their cars.

BlackBerry is also riding on WannaCry

The struggling tech firm’s stock has benefited from the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, which has caused investors to take a closer look at cyber-security stocks in general. McQuire and other analysts have also identified WannaCry as a positive impact for the Canadian firm.

The ransomware struck tens of thousands of computer systems around the world, mostly crippling machines that were running on older versions of Windows, especially Windows 7 and XP. WannaCry served a wake-up call for companies and consumers and a revelation for investors who hadn’t given much thought to the importance of cyber-security software.

BlackBerry shares have rising steadily since the end of March when the company surprised investors with its most recent earnings report. The rally built after it was revealed that the Canadian underdog had won its case against Qualcomm, and then last week, Ford made its announcement about Sync 3. Also last week, a Macquarie analyst claimed that BlackBerry is working with Range Rover and Aston Martin to develop an anti-hack tool for vehicles. It certainly makes sense, given the company’s shift toward software and emphasis on its QNX automotive software.

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