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6/26/2008
01:08 PM
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RIM Reports Surge In Revenue, Profit

The company's first quarter earnings more than doubled from the year before, and it added 2.3 million subscribers.

Fueled by strong sales of its BlackBerry handsets, Research in Motion said its first quarter profits and revenues more than doubled from a year ago.

The company reported earnings of $482.5 million for the quarter, compared to $223.2 million a year ago. RIM also said revenue grew to $2.24 billion from $1.08 billion for the same period last year.

RIM shipped about 5.4 million devices in the first quarter and added approximately 2.3 new BlackBerry subscribers, bringing the total customer base to 16 million.

"We are pleased to report another record quarter with revenue increasing 107% as the popularity of the BlackBerry platform continued to spread in business, government and consumer segments," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of RIM, during a call to analysts.

Analysts were expecting slightly higher revenue of $2.27 billion, according to consensus estimates from FactSet Research. For the second quarter, RIM projected that revenue will end up between $2.55 billion to $2.65 billion, besting analysts' expectation of $2.44 billion for the period.

"We believe that the strong product portfolio we have, together with the continued commitment by our carrier partners to promote BlackBerry throughout the summer months, will allow us to post healthy growth in Q2," said Jim Balsillie, RIM's Co-CEO, in a call with analysts.

While RIM is clearly the market leader in smartphones, it's expected to face stiff competition from Apple's upcoming iPhone 3G. To counter this, RIM has a slate of new handsets expected to be released in the second half of this year.

The BlackBerry Bold is expected to be a primary competitor with Apple's device, but RIM also has a touchscreen smartphone of its own that should hit the market before the end of the year.

Additionally, RIM is expected to release its first clamshell phone to further expand the company's appeal beyond just mobile professionals.

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