- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Research in Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry phones, is expected to report a relatively healthy profit after the market closes Thursday, since demand for “smart” phones has been solid even as the economy has declined.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect profit of 84 cents per share on $3.42 billion in revenue for RIM’s fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 28. Those figures are within the ranges projected by the company in February.

RIM has warned that gross margins will be relatively low, and analysts will watch closely for further guidance. Though its sales are growing, it’s facing a formidable challenge from Apple Inc.’s iPhone. To respond, RIM pushed out three new models late last year, and margins are suffering in part because it’s more expensive to make new models than old ones.

Analysts will also be looking for a forecast for the current quarter. They currently expect earnings of 82 cents per share.

Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski thinks RIM will forecast an improvement in gross margin in the first quarter, though she does expect a sales slowdown in April, as Verizon Wireless is likely to end a “buy one, get two” promotion.

On Wednesday, RIM launched an online store for BlackBerry applications. Third-party programs were already available for the phones, but the company hasn’t had an equivalent to the iPhone’s one-stop App Store.

(This version CORRECTS

Thomson Reuters estimates due to techincal error)

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide