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RIM maintains blazing growth

RIM maintains blazing growth

Research in Motion closed its current first quarter in another blaze of revenue and profit.

Revenue came in at a record US$2.24 billion for the quarter that ended May 31, up 19% from the previous quarter and 107% from a year ago. Nearly all of it (82%) was from the sale of RIM's proliferating family of BlackBerry smartphones. The company shipped about 5.4 million devices in the quarter.

Adding 2.3 million new BlackBerry subscribers brought the total account base to more than 16 million.

Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in the earnings conference call yesterday that RIM was in a period of "hyper growth" that could and would be sustained by RIM's unprecedented high spending in new-product and brand advertising campaigns.

Those campaigns have a new focus on non-enterprise consumer users (who are now 40% of the BlackBerry subscriber base), and such new products as the just-announced BlackBerry Bold 3G smartphone. The message is powerfully attractive to carriers, who are key RIM partners, Balsillie said. "Carriers are looking at triple-digit growth projections with BlackBerry," he told analysts.

Still more new products, including a possible iPhone rival informally dubbed "TouchBerry" are expected during the latter half of this year.

Net income was $482.5 million, or 84 cents per share diluted, compared with net income of $412.5 million, or 72 cents per share diluted, in the previous quarter. A year ago, the same numbers were $223.2 million, and 39 cents per share diluted.

The trends driving RIM's growth are expected to continue for the second quarter and possibly improve still more in the latter half of the year, when sales of recently announced products begin to increase and new, big advertising campaigns for the BlackBerry line are expected to drive demand, according to RIM executives.

RIM is projecting second-quarter revenue will be in the $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion range, net new subscribers will be around 2.6 million, and earnings per share, diluted, will be in the range of 84 cents to 89 cents.


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