Thursday, June 28, 2012

RIM fiscal Q1 2013 results show first operating loss since 2004; BB10 delayed to calendar year Q1 2013

It should really be no surprise that the financial results that BlackBerry maker RIM released on Thursday were bad. What is perhaps a surprise is just HOW bad they were.

RIM's fiscal Q1 2013 earnings report was well-telegraphed by the company. In late May, Research in Motion warned that it would probably see an operating loss, which would have been its first net quarterly loss since fiscal 2004.

Analysts were therefore expecting a loss, but the analyst estimates ranged from a profit of $0.01 per share on $3.1 billion in sales to a net loss of $0.03 per share.

Those estimates were far too forgiving. The actual numbers released by RIM are shocking: the company reported on Thursday that it lost $0.37 per share on revenue of $2.8 billion.

That revenue total was down 1/3 from $4.2 billion in the prior quarter and down 43 percent year-over-year, from $4.9 billion.

During the quarter, RIM shipped 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones (down 41 percent year-over-year) and approximately 260,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

The company does not seem to be in danger of running out of cash, at least. RIM's total of cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments was $2.2 billion as of June 2, 2012. That can be compared to $2.1 billion at the end of the previous quarter, amounting to an increase of about $100 million.

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The bad news keeps overwhelming the "reasonably good," though. The company announced that due to "unexpected delays," it will push back the launch of its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone to calendar Q1 2013. RIM had previously said its first BB10 handsets would launch later this year.

That is perhaps a more serious blow to the company than the results. The company has been losing - and losing - and losing market share to Android and iOS devices.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed on the company’s earnings call that RIM will launch a full-touchscreen BlackBerry 10 device in the first quarter of 2013, followed closely by the launch of a QWERTY smartphone. Heins also added that the company is exploring the possibility of licensing the BlackBerry 10 OS to other companies.

RIM's stock (RIMM) is down nearly 14 percent, to $7.86‎ (-$1.27‎) in after-hours trading. The stock's 52-week-high is $33.54.

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