Retirement Fund Buys Almost 7.8M BlackBerry (BBRY) Shares

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan gave BlackBerry (BBRY) bulls reason to cheer on Friday when it said [via Bloomberg] it bought almost 7.8M shares of the struggling smartphone maker in the third quarter.

The retirement fund, whose 1.6% stake is valued at about $84.5M, based on BlackBerry’s $10.53 price-per-share, is now one of the company’s top 10 holders with 8.23M shares as of Sept. 30, according to a regulatory filing.

One year in as BlackBerry’s chief executive officer, John Chen has been winning over investors with a turnaround strategy that has included cost cuts, asset sales, smart partnerships to reduce inventory risks, and building revs from business services to compensate for declining handset sales. All these changes not only have increased the value of  BlackBerry shares, but have also added growth areas for the handset and mobile software provider as Chen steers the company toward profitability. Chen has said he wants the Waterloo, Canada-based firm to reach break-even cash flow by the end of this year, and expects it to return to profitability during the year that will end in March 2016.

BBRY’s shares have advanced 15.71% in the last 4 weeks and 10.61% in the past three months. Over the past 5 trading sessions the stock has gained 0.29%. The Waterloo, Canada-based company, which is currently valued at $5.48B, is up 36% year-over-year, and 42% year-to-date.

The pension fund manager also disclosed it bought almost 127,000 shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) during the third quarter. The stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant is valued at $14.2M based on Friday’s close.

Ontario Teachers is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada. The fund had about $124B in assets under management at the end of last year.

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