Tags: rim | blackberry | earns

RIM Posts Loss, Discloses Shake-up; Shares Fall

Thursday, 29 March 2012 05:53 PM

Research In Motion said on Thursday former co-CEO Jim Balsillie is stepping down as a director as it posted a quarterly loss, stung by a further slide in BlackBerry smartphone shipments and anemic deliveries of its PlayBook tablet.

Shares dropped 9 percent in after-hours Nasdaq trading as RIM announced a net loss of $125 million, or 24 cents a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter - the first since Thorsten Heins since replaced Balsillie and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.

The company booked writedowns on its BlackBerry 7 phones and goodwill in the period, ended March 3.

On an adjusted basis, profit dropped to $418 million, or 80 cents a share, from $934 million, or $1.78, a year earlier. Revenue slumped to $4.19 billion from $5.56 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected RIM to earn 81 cents a share on revenue of $4.54 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"They clearly have no fix on when this process will bottom, and until it really does, it's going to be very difficult for a lot of investors to come back in," said Eric Jackson, a hedge fund manager at Ironfire Capital in New York.

The company shipped 11.1 million BlackBerry smartphones, down 21 percent from the third quarter, but slightly ahead of analysts' expectations. It sold more than 500,000 PlayBooks in the three months, a number inflated by deep discounts offered to boost sales of the product.

German-born Heins took over in January, but immediately raised investor doubts about his turnaround chops by declaring RIM didn't need drastic change, a stance he later clarified as meaning RIM was not going to be split up or sold.

But the results showed a major shakeup in the works at the Waterloo, Ontario-based company.

RIM said Balsillie - long one of the company's public faces - had resigned from the board. David Yach, a chief technology officer, and Jim Rowan, a chief operating officer, also stepped down.

RIM dropped all specific guidance for the current and future quarters, saying only it "expects continued pressure on revenue and earnings throughout fiscal 2013."

The company cited a weakness in the company's U.S. business and competitive pressure in global markets as it sells more low-end devices.

RIM historically has provided a forecast for BlackBerry shipments, earnings per share and revenue, but has faced scathing criticism in the past year for missing these targets.

RIM also said it is undertaking a review of "strategic opportunities including partnerships and joint venture, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM's assets and maximize value for our stakeholders."

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, 29 March 2012 05:53 PM
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