Sat, Sep 29, 2012 - Page 15 News List

RIM posts large loss but not as bad as expected


BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has posted another large quarterly loss, but the hemorrhaging was not as bad expected.

The Canadian company is still losing market share in North America, where it struggles to compete with Apple’s iPhone and phones that run Google’s Android software.

However, it has stepped up sales in developing markets and actually increased its subscriber base and cash position.

RIM’s stock surged more than 20 percent on Thursday in after-market trading on the news.

The company reported on Thursday that it lost US$235 million, or US$0.45 a share, in its fiscal second quarter, which ended Sept 1. That compares with a profit of US$419 million, or US$0.80 per share, a year ago.

RIM reported revenue of US$2.9 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of US$0.47 cents on revenue of US$2.49 billion.

RIM said it shipped 7.4 million BlackBerry smartphones in the quarter, down from 10.6 million in the same period last year.

Some analysts predicted RIM would ship only 6.4 million devices as the company prepares to launch much-delayed new BlackBerrys that have been deemed critical to its survival.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins said on a conference call with analysts that BlackBerry 10 is still on track to be released in the first quarter of next year — several months after the release of Apple’s iPhone 5, which came out earlier this month.

Competitors have released strong products recently but vowed BlackBerry 10 “will advance the operating system environment to a whole new level,” Henis said.

Heins replaced co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis in January after the company lost tens of billions in market value.

He surprised many this week when he said at a conference for mobile applications developers that RIM has 80 million subscribers, up from 78 million in early June.

Many analysts had expected RIM to start losing subscribers in the second quarter.

RIM’s sales outside the US, UK and Canada were about 58 percent of total revenue, said Brian Bidulka, the company’s chief financial officer. He noted sales were strong in Indonesia, South Africa and Venezuela, but declined in the US.

Sales in the US represented 22 percent of revenue, down from 25 percent in the first quarter and 27 percent in the second quarter last year.

Bidulka said RIM’s business would continue to be challenged until the new BlackBerrys are launched.

Research firm IDC says BlackBerry’s US market share has plummeted from 45.8 percent in 2008 to 2.7 percent this year.

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