RIM (RIMM) Misses Q4 Numbers on Top and Bottom; May Explore Alternatives

March 29, 2012 5:22 PM EDT
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Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) issued fourth-quarter misses on both the top and bottom lines Thursday afternoon... but that's not the worst of it. Or the best.

Revenue for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company fell 25 percent to $4.19 billion, compared to sales of $5.56 billion in the same period last year. RIM swung from a profit of $934 million during the year-ago quart to a loss of $125 million, or 24 cents per share. Adjusting for certain one-time items, RIM posted earnings of 80 cents per share.

The Street was looking for revs of $4.55 billion and earnings of 82 cents per share.

Gross margin compressed from 44.2 percent last year to 33.4 percent before adjustments.

BlackBerry shipments were 11.1 million units in the quarter. PlayBook tablet shipments were 500 thousand.

RIM also said it would stop "providing specific quantitative guidance."

Just 10 weeks into his tenure, CEO Thorsten Heins said, "Notwithstanding...strengths and opportunities, the business challenges we face over the next several quarters are significant...[i]n addition to delivering the BlackBerry 10 platform and refocusing resources on RIM's key opportunities...we will also drive greater operational performance through a variety of initiatives including increased management accountability and process discipline. In parallel, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of strategic opportunities including partnerships and joint ventures, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM's assets and maximize value for our stakeholders."

On a positive note, Heins said BlackBerry 10 is on schedule for the latter part of 2012. Analysts expect larger announcements and more color to be revealed during BlackBerry World in May. Also, Jim Balsillie, former Co-CEO and long thought to be a sore spot for the company, resigned as a Director on the RIM's Board. Software CTO David Yach will also be leaving the company.

RIM shares resumed trading down about 6 percent, however, traders are taking advantage of the weakness to buy the dip. The stock last traded at $13.20 after closing at $13.73.

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