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RIM tops forecasts and shares gain 20%

03 апреля 2009

Shares in Research in Motion jumped more than 20 per cent in late trading Thursday after the Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry smartphones reported better than expected fourth-quarter earnings and strong subscriber growth.

RIM’s shares rose to $59.52 in after-hours trading from their regular session close of $49.09 on the Nasdaq after the company reported profits increased to $518.3m, or 90 cents a share, from $412.5m, or 72 cents, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 84 per cent to $3.46bn, compared with $1.88bn in the year-ago quarter.

About 83 per cent of the revenues came from the sale of BlackBerry devices.

The results topped the expectations of analysts, who had scaled down their forecasts after RIM issued a profit warning in February and dampened expectations citing the uncertain outlook.

RIM said BlackBerry sales grew strongly in February.

The company, which initially focused on the corporate market, has succeeded in pushing into the broader consumer market over the past two years and added 3.9m new subscribers in the fourth quarter – taking its total number of subscribers worldwide to more than 25m.

Investors had grown concerned about RIM’s falling gross margins, which slipped to 40 per cent in the latest quarter as it has pushed into the consumer market.

However, Thursday’s results suggested the margin decline had bottomed out.

For the current quarter RIM said it expected revenue of $3.3bn-$3.5bn and earnings per share of 88-97 cents.

Gross margin is expected to be 43-44 per cent and the company said it expected to add 3.7m-3.9m net new subscribers.

Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive, said: “Looking ahead into fiscal 2010, we see exceptional opportunities for RIM and its partners to leverage the investments and success of the past year to continue growing market share and profitability.”

This week RIM launched an online software application store to sell entertainment, games, news and travel software to BlackBerry users in an effort to counter the success of Apple’s iPhone App store.

While the iPhone has been a big hit with consumers, particularly in the US, it has yet to threaten RIM’s dominant position in the business users market. 

Источник: Financial Times

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