RIM Q3 beats the street; good Q4 guidance

Research In Motion reported its third quarter earnings Thursday evening, and it beat Wall Street’s estimates in several key areas. The BlackBerry maker’s revenue was up 40% year-over-year to $5.5 billion on record shipments of 14.2 million devices — also up 40% year-over-year. This beat the street’s consensus of $5.4 billion in revenue and shipments of 14 million. The $317 average selling price of RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones beat the street’s consensus of $310, though RIM added 5.1 million subscribers during the quarter, which fell below the street’s consensus of 5.2 million. Total subscriber count was 55 million, however, which is up 49% year-over-year. RIM expects fourth quarter revenues of $5.5 to $5.7 billion and 14.3 to 14.9 devices shipped.

“RIM delivered upside surprise on ASPs and GMs — both key metrics,” wrote Mike Abramsky, Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets, in a note to investors. “Importantly, Q4 guidance calls for Q/Q growth in both revenue and EPS on healthy margins, above street and investor expectations. We believe street estimates should come up tomorrow, given the healthy Q4 guide and likelihood that more analysts reflect PlayBook into their estimates.”

Hit the break for the full press release from RIM.

RESEARCH IN MOTION REPORTS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM), a world leader in the mobile communications market, today reported record third quarter results for the three months ended November 27, 2010 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP)

Highlights:

  • Record BlackBerry® smartphone shipments  of 14.2 million grew 40% over the same quarter
  • last year
  • Revenue grew 40% over the same quarter last year to $5.5 billion
  • Q3 Earnings per share of $1.74 were up 58% over the same quarter last year
  • Cash increased by $446 million to $2.5 billion at the end of the quarter

Q3 Results:
Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 was $5.49 billion, up 19% from $4.62 billion in the previous quarter and up 40% from $3.92 billion in the same quarter of last year. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 82% for devices, 15% for service, and 3% for software and other revenue.

During the quarter, RIM shipped approximately 14.2 million devices. Approximately 5.1 million net new BlackBerry® subscriber accounts were added in the quarter.  At the end of the quarter, the total BlackBerry subscriber account base was over 55 million.

“We are pleased to report another record quarter with strong growth in shipments of BlackBerry smartphones leading to record revenue, subscriber additions and earnings. RIM’s business continues to grow and diversify as BlackBerry adoption accelerates in markets around the world,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “With strong results and momentum from our recent product introductions, as well as growing excitement from our partners and customers around upcoming smartphone, tablet, software and service offerings, we are setting the stage for continuing success.”

The Company’s net income for the quarter was $911.1 million, or $1.74 per share diluted, compared with net income of $796.7 million, or $1.46 per share diluted, in the prior quarter and net income of $628.4 million, or $1.10 per share diluted, in the same quarter last year

The total of cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments was $2.47 billion as of November 27, 2010, compared to $2.03 billion at the end of the previous quarter, an increase of $446 million from the prior quarter. Cash flow from operations in Q3 was approximately $975 million.  Uses of cash included capital expenditures of approximately $300 million, common share repurchases of approximately $133 million, and intangible asset purchases of approximately $45 million.

Q4 Outlook:
Revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 ending February 26, 2011 is expected to be in the range of $5.5-$5.7 billion.  Gross margin percentage for the fourth quarter is expected to be similar to third quarter levels.  Earnings per share for the fourth quarter are expected to be in the range of $1.74-$1.80 per share diluted.

Update on RIM’s Board of Directors:
RIM announced today that its board of directors has appointed co-Chief Executive Officers Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis as co-chairmen of the board. John Richardson remains as lead independent director of RIM and will continue to facilitate the functioning of the board independently of management. The board believes these appointments, in conjunction with Mr. Richardson serving as lead independent director, represent an appropriate and effective leadership structure for RIM. RIM also announced today that Jim Estill has resigned his position as a director of RIM due to a business conflict. RIM thanks Mr. Estill for his 13 years of service on the board.

Conference Call and Webcast
A conference call and live webcast will be held beginning at 5 pm ET, December 16, 2010, which can be accessed by dialing 800-814-4859 (North America), 416-644-3414 (outside North America). The replay of the company’s Q3 conference call can be accessed after 7 pm ET, December 16, 2010 until midnight ET, December 30, 2010. It can be accessed by dialing 416-640-1917 and entering passcode 4310313#. The conference call will also appear on the RIM website live at 5 pm ET and will be archived at http://www.rim.com/investors/events/index.shtml.

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