Mobile

RIM reports ugly Q4 results, Jim Balsillie out from board of directors

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BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion has reported its Q4 2012 results and, as expected, the earnings came in below expectations.

RIM reported revenues of $4.19 billion, way below expectations, and earnings per share ended up at 81 cents, right on the money with projections. RIM sold 11.1 million BlackBerrys, which was just shy of forecasts. A year ago, the company posted much stronger revenue of $5.6 billion and earnings of $1.78 per share.

Among other layoffs, the company’s former co-CEO Jim Balsille has resigned from the board of directors, news that caused after-hours trading on RIM shares to halt temporarily after a nearly 3 percent price spike.

News that Balsillie is out was especially unexpected. Software CTO David Yach and COO of Global Operations Jim Rowan have also been forced out.

Balsillie said in a statement: “As I complete my retirement from RIM, I’m grateful for this remarkable experience and for the opportunity to have worked with outstanding professionals who helped turn a Canadian idea into a global success.”

Low expectations for RIM’s Q4 results were in order. RIM’s stock has lost more than 75 percent of its value in the past year, as Apple and various Android phone makers like Samsung and Motorola dominate the mobile market. The news has been uniformly bad: BlackBerrys have been delegated to second-tier status, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has gained no traction against the iPad in the enterprise, and the new CEO of the company, Thorstein Heins, has been hesistant to change course. Heins got on the line for his first-ever conference call after the earnings were posted, and promised “substantial change.”

Wall street analysts low-balled and estimated that RIM would report $4.54 billion in revenue and 81 cents earnings per share (EPS) for Q4 of its 2012 fiscal year, according to Seeking Alpha. However, RIM was somehow able to tread below that.

On the plus side, RIM sold more than 500,000 PlayBook tablets, which is the best quarter they’ve ever had for the device. To be fair, it did sell quite a few of PlayBooks at bargain-bin prices for a loss, but hey, it’s an accomplishment that some people still want RIM products, right?

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