The deluge of happy telecom news has started in earnest.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of $0.98 per share on $3.4 billion in GAAP revenue. 3.8 million net new BlackBerry service accounts were added in the quarter for a total of 28.5 million users worldwide.
Cheery reports from the semiconductor chip makers in the last couple of weeks had led me to expect good news from RIM. The Canadians didn't disappoint. Sales ticked up by 53% from the year-ago period and the bottom line outperformed management's guidance range of $0.88 to $0.97 per share.
It wasn't a mind-blowing outperformance by any means, but the report still qualifies as seriously good news. It takes a special business to perform this well amid a storm of new and upcoming competition from well-heeled and respectable rivals.
Everyone is launching fancy new smartphone models right about now, including the eagerly anticipated next-generation Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone 3GS, the fandom-inducing Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) Pre, and upcoming Android phones with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) logos on their Samsung and HTC shells. The deluge of new competition in combination with the rickety economy was not enough to derail RIM's gravy train in the slightest.
RIM is throwing an updated BlackBerry Storm into the fray before the holidays, alongside the all-new BlackBerry Tour smartphone launching this summer. Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) Wireless and Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) are the launch partners, though those BlackBerrys tend to make their way across any and all available networks over time.
This report didn't move RIM's stock price in the direction one might expect, probably because of forward guidance that only reaffirmed Wall Street's average guesstimates. If you have money to invest right now, that gives you a quick 15% discount on RIM stock today, compared to share prices seen early last week.
I gotta say I'm a little bit tempted myself. Mr. Market seems to ignore a lot of good news here.