RIM posts another quarterly loss - but it could have been worse

BlackBerry-maker RIM has posted another quarterly loss, but not as bad as investors expected, with revenues 16% above analysts’ forecasts

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has posted another quarterly loss, but it was not as much as investors expected, with revenues coming in at 16% above analysts’ forecasts.

Despite reporting a net loss of $235m for the second quarter, ending 1 September, compared with a profit of $329m the year before, shares in the company were up nearly 18% in after-hours-trading.

Revenue was $2.9bn, down 31% from $4.2bn in the same quarter the year before, but up 2% from $2.8bn in the first quarter, which itself was down 38% from the quarter before as RIM struggled to keep pace with rivals Apple and Samsung.

Excluding one-time restructuring items, the loss was $142m, and RIM increased its cash to about $2.3bn from $2.2bn.

Commentators said that being able to dip into a cash reserve could be key to a successful launch of RIM's line of smartphones that will run on its new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Thorsten Heins, RIM president and CEO said: “Despite the significant changes we are implementing across the organisation, our second quarter results demonstrate that RIM is progressing on its financial and operational commitments during this major transition.

“Subscribers grew to approximately 80 million global users, revenue grew sequentially from the first quarter, cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long -term investments  increased by  approximately $100m to $2.3bn, and carriers and developers are responding well to previews of our upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform,” he said.

Heins said BlackBerry 10, which industry observers believe is key to the beleaguered company’s survival, is on track to launch in the first quarter of 2013.  

If RIM is to achieve a turnaround in its business, analysts say this is likely to happen only after the new smartphone range and operating system are released to the market.

However, in addition to its traditional rivals of Apple and Samsung, RIM is facing another challenger in the form of Microsoft, which is targeting enterprise with Windows Phone 8.

RIM said it shipped 130,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in the quarter and 7.4 million Blackberry smartphones, 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 the much-delayed BlackBerry 10 smartphone range.

RIM said it expects to report an operating loss in the next quarter as the firm continues to work through the transition to BlackBerry 10.

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