Despite a powerful fiscal fourth quarter, Research In Motion's
The home of the BlackBerry enjoyed juicy fiscal fourth-quarter results. Revenues surged 65% to $930.4 million, while operating income, adjusted to exclude last year's huge legal fees, rose 54%. Research In Motion picked up more than 1 million BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter, putting the total at roughly 8 million.
RIM expects the heady growth to continue. The company forecasts fiscal first-quarter revenues to range from $1.025 billion to $1.075 billion, with net income of $0.99 to $1.07 per share. It looks like the Pearl and BlackBerry 8800 will continue to grow quickly. The company also expects to launch several more products, including its Daytona and Cyclone projects, over the next couple of quarters. Expect more colors, cool designs, and multimedia features.
RIM needs to keep innovating, given its oncoming competition. Besides Apple and its much-hyped iPhone, rivals include Palm
Yet all those competitors may actually help RIM, since their marketing efforts should popularize smartphones in general among mainstream consumers. With its reliable network and footprint of 270 carriers, RIM is positioned nicely to benefit.
Meanwhile, the SEC investigation poses a definite concern, having already been upgraded from an informal inquiry. However, RIM's own already-completed internal investigation found no evidence of intentional misconduct. Its consequences are nothing to sneeze at, though: $250 million in restatements.
Investors expected almost miraculous results from the quarterly report, and RIM simply couldn't deliver. The stock price fell roughly 8% to $134 this morning, on investors' disappointment that the company missed analysts' revenue estimates. Still, RIM remains in the early stages of penetrating the consumer market, it's got a thriving enterprise footprint, and it has big growth opportunities in global markets. RIM's a good bet for Foolish investors aiming for long-term results. Its short-term mood swings could just be an opportunity to buy shares a bit cheaper.
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Fool contributor Tom Taulli, author of The Complete M&A Handbook, does not own shares mentioned in this article. He is ranked 2,719 out of 25,386 in Motley Fool CAPS. The Fool has a disclosure policy.