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RIM: Fourth quarter revenue, earnings shine; Outlook strong

Research in Motion on Wednesday dispelled any concerns about its competitive stance with strong fourth quarter earnings and a better-than-expected first quarter outlook.For the quarter ending March 1, RIM reported earnings of $412.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

Research in Motion on Wednesday dispelled any concerns about its competitive stance with strong fourth quarter earnings and a better-than-expected first quarter outlook.

For the quarter ending March 1, RIM reported earnings of $412.5 million, or 72 cents a share, on revenue of $1.88 billion, up 102 percent from a year ago. In the fourth quarter a year ago, RIM reported earnings of$187.4 million, or 33 cents a share, on revenue of $930.4 million. According to Thomson Financial, Wall Street expected fourth quarter earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $1.86 billion.

RIM also upped its outlook for the first quarter (statement). RIM projected earnings of 82 cents a share to 86 cents a share on revenue of $2.23 billion to $2.30 billion.

By the numbers:

  • RIM shipped 4.4 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and 14 million for the year.
  • Fiscal 2008 revenue was $6.01 billion, up 98 percent from a year ago. Net income for 2008 was $1.29 billion, or $2.26 a share.
  • RIM had $2.34 billion in cash and equivalents as of March 1.

While Apple has called out RIM in recent press events the BlackBerry remains a hot seller. Meanwhile, analysts expect more product growth ahead. UBS analyst Jeffrey Fan said in his earnings preview:

We expect Curve launches at further CDMA operators as well as reorders to result in better than flat sequential August quarter (our current forecasts) and a 3G BlackBerry (higher ASP) to support growth into Nov. Other FY09 launches we expect include BlackBerry Unite, BES 5.0 & possibly a touch-screen BlackBerry.

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