RIM Surges On Strong Profits

Higher-than-expected revenues and earnings sent the BlackBerry maker's shares soaring 50 percent and lead to optimism from officials for RIM's next two quarters.

An unexpectedly strong earnings report buoyed shares of Research In Motion Ltd. by more than 50 percent on Tuesday.

The maker of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device had reported a day earlier that revenue for its third quarter ended on November 29 rose to $153.9 million, an increase of 107 percent over the same period a year earlier. Its profits increased to $16.3 million, or 20 cents per share, compared to a loss of $92.8 million, or $1.21 a share, a year earlier.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based companys results were well ahead of estimates from financial analysts. They had expected earnings of 17 cents per share on revenues of $146.3 million for the quarter.

Jim Balsillie, RIMs chairman and co-CEO, credited the strong showing to higher-than-expected subscriber growth for its mobile services. The company revised upwards its revenue estimates for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003 and the first quarter of fiscal 2004, helping to send its stock price soaring to a close of $69.61 a share on Tuesday.

"RIM completed another successful quarter marked by strong performance and a multitude of BlackBerry launches around the world," Balsillie said in a statement.

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RIM now expects revenue in the fourth quarter to be between $195 million to $210 million, with first quarter revenue falling between $220 million and $240 million.

RIM also announced on Monday that it had signed a global agreement with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB in its BlackBerry Connect licensing program. That program allows mobile device makers to integrate into their handsets the ability to connect to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Web Client services. RIM said further product details from the agreement would be announced later.

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