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RIM posts narrower than expected Q2 loss despite stalled BlackBerry sales

Updated Jan 8th, 2013 2:42PM EST
IBM considering RIM acquisition

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Research In Motion (RIMM) is trapped in a holding pattern as it rushes to launch its next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform. The first smartphones powered by RIM’s new software won’t launch until the first quarter next year at the earliest, however, and the Canadian vendor’s current lineup is getting stale in the meantime. Recent reports suggested that some U.S. carrier stores haven’t sold a single BlackBerry handset in more than a month, and although company CEO Thorsten Heins put concerns surrounding potential subscriber declines to rest earlier this week when he announced RIM added two million net subscribers in the second fiscal quarter to reach 80 million total global users, the vendor still reported its third consecutive net quarterly loss on Thursday.

Analysts were expecting RIM to post a net loss of $0.47 per share for the second fiscal quarter of 2013, and the Street’s revenue consensus came in at $2.5 billion. The numbers are now in, and RIM confirmed that it lost $0.27 per share, or $235 million, on revenue of $2.9 billion, beating Wall Street’s expectations on both counts. RIM reported a loss of $0.37 per share on revenue of $2.8 billion in sales for the first fiscal quarter this year, and it managed a profit of $0.80 per share on $4.7 billion in revenue in the year-ago quarter.

RIM’s stock was up more than 16% in after-hours trading on the surprise earnings beat.

Analysts were looking for BlackBerry smartphone shipments to come in at 7.8 million units for the second quarter and RIM announced that it shipped 7.4 million smartphones last quarter. Shipments of PlayBook tablets fell to 130,000 units in the second fiscal quarter compared to 260,000 units in the first quarter.

RIM expects to report another operating loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, and the company’s full press release follows below.


Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM), a world leader in the mobile communications market, today reported second quarter results for the three months ended September 1, 2012 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP, except where otherwise indicated).


• BlackBerry subscriber base increased to approximately 80 million global subscribers

• Cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments increased by approximately $100 million to $2.3 billion at the end of the second quarter

• Cash flow from operations was approximately $432 million in the second quarter

• Revenue of $2.9 billion in Q2, up 2% from $2.8 billion in Q1

• GAAP net loss in Q2 of $235 million, or $0.45 per share diluted, including $136 million in pre-tax restructuring costs; adjusted net loss of $142 million, or $0.27 per share diluted

• Shipments of BlackBerry smartphones were 7.4 million and shipments of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets were approximately 130,000

Q2 Results

Revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 was $2.9 billion, up 2% from $2.8 billion in the previous quarter and down 31% from $4.2 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2012. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 60% for hardware, 35% for service and 5% for software and other revenue. During the quarter, RIM shipped approximately 7.4 million BlackBerry smartphones and shipped approximately 130,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

GAAP net loss for the quarter was $235 million, or $0.45 per share diluted, compared with the GAAP net loss of $518 million, or $0.99 per share diluted, in the prior quarter and GAAP net income of $329 million, or $0.63 per share diluted, in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted net loss for the second quarter was $142 million, or $0.27 per share diluted. Adjusted net loss and adjusted diluted loss per share exclude the impact of pre-tax charges of $136 million ($93 million on an after-tax basis) related to the Cost Optimization and Resource Efficiency (“CORE”) program. This charge and its related impact on GAAP net loss and diluted loss per share are summarized in the table below.

“Despite the significant changes we are implementing across the organization, our second quarter results demonstrate that RIM is progressing on its financial and operational commitments during this major transition,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO. “Subscribers grew to approximately 80 million global users, revenue grew sequentially from the first quarter, cash, cash equivalents, short-term and longterm investments increased by approximately $100 million to $2.3 billion, and carriers and developers are responding well to previews of our upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform. Make no mistake about it, we understand that we have much more work to do, but we are making the organizational changes to drive improvements across the company, our employees are committed and motivated, and BlackBerry 10 is on track to launch in the first calendar quarter of 2013.”

The total of cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments was $2.3 billion as of September 1, 2012, compared to $2.2 billion at the end of the previous quarter, an increase of approximately $100 million from the prior quarter. Cash flow from operations in Q2 was approximately $432 million. Uses of cash included intangible asset additions of approximately $253 million and capital expenditures of approximately $87 million.


The Company expects that there will be continued pressure on operating results for the remainder of the fiscal year based on the increasing competitive environment, lower handset volumes, increased marketing expense associated with the launch of BlackBerry 10, and some impact from pressure by customers to reduce RIM’s monthly infrastructure access fees. Also, the Company plans to continue to invest in targeted marketing and sales programs to aggressively drive sales of BlackBerry 7 handheld devices before the anticipated launch of the BlackBerry 10 smartphones. The Company expects to report an operating loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 as RIM continues to work through the transition to BlackBerry 10 and completes its CORE program. This outlook excludes any benefits or future impact of charges related to the CORE program.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.