RIM Earnings Miss; Several Executives Resign

CNBC.com with wires
Thursday, 29 Mar 2012 | 5:56 PM ET

Research In Motion reported quarterly earnings and revenue that missed analysts' expectations and announced the resignations of several senior executives, including former co-CEO Jim Balsillie, on Thursday.

RIM shares were briefly halted shortly before the earnings release.

RIM Headquarters
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RIM Headquarters

"The results are in line with expectations which were weak already," said Colin Gillis, analyst at BGC Partners. "But it's not just these results. The forward outlook continues to be bleak. Next quarter it's going to be more of the same. There's no sign of a turnaround."

The company posted fourth-quarter earnings excluding items of 80 cents per share,down from $1.78 a share in the year-earlier period.

Net income dropped to $418 million in new CEO Thorsten Heins' first quarter as chief executive. A year ago it earned $934 million.

Revenue was $4.2billion, a 24-percent decrease from $5.56 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 81 cents a share on $4.54 billion in revenue.

Balsillie was long one of the company's public faces. Also resigning from the board were David Yach, a chief technology officer, and Jim Rowan, a chief operating officer.

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.

Before they were halted the shares had been trading 2 percent higher in extended-hours trading. (Click here to get the latest quote for Research in Motion.)

The BlackBerry maker has been stung by slipping smartphone shipments and limited deliveries of its poor-selling PlayBook tablet. It booked writedowns on its BlackBerry 7 phones and goodwill.

The company shipped 11.1 million BlackBerrys and more than 500,000 PlayBooks in the three months to March 3. During RIM's earnings call, Heins said the company plans to launch BlackBerry 7 in the next few weeks.

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