It’s been a long time since investors have had warm feelings about the electronics and entertainment company. But that seems to be changing. Encouraging reports about Sony‘s smartphone sales — particularly its new Xperia Z — contributed to an 11% increase in company shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today, and a 7.5% jump in mid-day trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Although Sony’s still down 20.7% for the last 12 months on the NYSE, it’s up 54% since the beginning of this year. Today’s pop follows Daiwa Securities’ decision to raise Sony to a “buy” from “neutral.” The firm says that Xperia Z sales could help the company to report a profit in the fiscal year that will end March 2014. The new water-resistant, Android-powered phone with a 5-inch screen still isn’t available in the U.S., but it has been the top-seller in Japan for the last four weeks, Japan’s business daily Nikkei reports.