Update: RIM posts Q2 loss of $235M, beats expectations

Analysts say results are not as bad as they could have been

Research In Motion (RIM) on Thursday posted a net loss of $235 million for the second quarter on revenues of $2.9 billion. The earnings report came two days after the company said its subscriber base had increased to 80 million.

The loss equates to 45 cents a share, one cent less than the 46-cent loss many analysts had expected.

Revenues a year ago for the second quarter were $4.2 billion with earnings of 80 cents a share.

"Our second quarter results demonstrate that RIM is progressing on its financial and operational commitments during this major transition," CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement (download PDF). "Make no mistake about it, we understand that we have much more work to do..."

Given RIM's struggles over the last year, the loss was less than expected, independent analyst Jeff Kagan said, "and in RIM's case, that's good news.... Could this be the beginning of a turnaround? While RIM is not growing yet, their losses seem to be getting under control."

RIM also said it shipped 7.4 million BlackBerry devices in the quarter and 130,000 PlayBook tablets, down from 7.8 million BlackBerrys and 260,000 Playbooks in the previous quarter. A year ago in the second quarter, RIM shipped 10.6 million BlackBerrys and 200,000 PlayBooks.

Noting that subscribers inceased by two million, and RIM's cash on hand is strong, Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said he was also encouraged that RIM is selling devices at "roughly the same clip.... So while things are still very challenging for RIM, they are in no immediate danger of going under. They seem to have stabilized."

Given the quarterly results, he said the earnings numbers "seem to suggest RIM can easily hold on until BlackBerry 10 is here."

The company has said it is on track to launch BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the first quarter of 2013.

In a conference call, Heins repeated that BlackBerry 10 smartphones are on track to launch in the first quarter globally, and he vowed that RIM will "win market share back from competitors." Market share has fallen in the last year to about 5% globally.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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