Research in Motion today beat Wall Street's estimates for the third quarter, showing that the maker of the Blackberry is far from being a has-been in the smartphone game.
For the quarter ending Nov. 27, the company reported net profit of $911.1 million, or $1.74 per share, on revenue of $5.49 billion. Wall Street had been expecting earnings of $1.64 per share on revenue of $5.4 billion. (Statement, Preview)
The company said the 82 percent of the revenue came from devices, while 15 percent was attributed to services. The company shipped about 14.2 million devices and added about 5.1 million net new subscribers in the quarter, taking the subscriber account base to over 55 million. Analysts had been expecting 5.2 million new subscribers.
In a statement, co-CEO Jim Balsillie said:
We are pleased to report another record quarter with strong growth in shipments of BlackBerry smartphones leading to record revenue, subscriber additions and earnings. RIM's business continues to grow and diversify as BlackBerry adoption accelerates in markets around the world. With strong results and momentum from our recent product introductions, as well as growing excitement from our partners and customers around upcoming smartphone, tablet, software and service offerings, we are setting the stage for continuing success.
Analysts have been gradually becoming more optimistic about RIM based on its QNX operating system, which will power the PlayBook tablet when it lands next year. The sentiment follows some negatives feelings about the company, which appeared to be sliding in interest compared to the buzz surrounding Apple's iPhone and iPad products, as well as smartphones and tablets powered by Google's Android mobile operating system.
Once again, the company touted its growth and positioning in International markets, notably western Europe and Latin America, noting that the Blackberry is the No. 1 smartphone in some markets, including the United Kingdom.
The company also noted some momentum around the pre-paid market in the UK, where it grew by more than 200 percent, compared to post-paid, which grew more than 60 percent.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects revenue for the fourth quarter to be in the range of $5.5 billion to $5.7 billion. Earnings for the quarter are expected to be in the range of $1.74 and $1.80 per share.
The company also announced come changes to its board of directors, notably that co-CEOs Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have been named co-chairmen of the board. John Richardson will remain lead independent director of the board. Finally, Jim Estill, after 13 years as a director, resigned from the board because of a business conflict.
Shares of RIM were slightly in regular trading, closing at $59.24. In after hours trading, shares were up more than 2 percent following the release of its earnings news.
The company will host a conference call later this afternoon. We'll tune in and update this post with details from the call.